Manipulators and Charm

Skilled manipulators can be quite seductive and charming. Still, I confess readily in my book In Sheep’s Clothing that when I first began my clinical research, I wondered how the victims of covert-aggressors could be so blind to their manipulator’s true character without having a lot of issues of their own.  Only after I got much deeper into the study of covert aggressors did it become clear to me not only how adept they can often be at using various tactics but also how powerful the tactics themselves inherently are.  So while there were exceptions to be sure, most of the time there were some pretty good reasons why someone fell under the spell of someone who would later be exposed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Also during my research, I came to realize something rarely mentioned in mounds of information now available on disturbed characters:  not all charm is of the same character. Moreover, the power a manipulator has to seduce and eventually exploit depends not only on their intended target possessing certain attributes that might make them more vulnerable but also on the nature of the charming behavior the manipulator displays.  Because there are numerous, complicated issues involved in charm and seduction, it’s going to take more than just this article to really give fair treatment to the subject. But hopefully this article will serve as a good introduction to the topic and a fair springboard for discussion.

Most of us want to be liked and valued. So, when someone shows us attention or behaves toward us in a way that invites us to feel somewhat special, we’re likely to be drawn to them to a degree.  And we almost never assume the person is mounting a calculated “charm offensive” merely to get something they want or that perhaps they even have intent to take advantage of us in some way. Rather, we’d like to think there’s something really remarkable about us that is motivating the person to behave in an appreciative and kindly manner.

Some folks are charming in the most benign and appealing way.  They are not only sincerely well-mannered but also genuinely positively regarding of others.  The very way in which they conduct themselves and the authentic respect they have for others is “attractive” in its own right.  But there are those characters whose display of charm is a farce, part of a calculated use of seduction to take advantage of others.  Unfortunately, sometimes it’s really hard to tell the difference between benign charm and malevolent seduction, but armed with sufficient information and with some careful scrutiny a person can distinguish the two (which will be the subject of a follow-up article).

As a general rule, mature, non-disordered characters go after the things they want in direct, fair, disciplined, respectful, and non-destructive ways (the very definition of assertiveness). Disturbed and disordered characters lie, cheat, and sometimes “shmooze” to get what they want. They hate to be denied.  So, rather than approach things in an open and direct manner with their prime agenda clearly exposed (which might raise the other person’s defenses and increase the risk of them not winning), they prefer to approach things on the sly and catch the other person unaware and with their defenses down.  A disarmed target is a much easier to control target, so they’ll play to the desire of the other person to be valued and liked which becomes a powerful manipulation tool.

Seduction and flattery devoid of malicious intent is relatively harmless.  And much of the time, the person on the receiving end is aware enough to know that they’re being buttered-up and will enjoy the flattery while not taking it so seriously or being unduly swayed. But sometimes, seduction can be carried out in such a carefully crafted manner or with such intensity that the other person is completely swept away, blinded to the true character of the seducer. Only after the manipulator gets what he or she wants will their true character become clearer, and by then it’s generally too late.

Great-sounding words and awesome gestures have been the eventual ruin of many a relationship. I’ve counseled many individuals over the years who’ve told me how completely swept off their feet they were in the initial stages of their relationship. But then slowly over time, the reality of their partner’s character and patterns of behavior once hidden but deeply ingrained became more evident and life changed from what seemed to be the promise of heaven on earth to a living hell. Words you see, simply cannot be trusted, especially in a character-impaired age. Even gestures can’t be trusted sometimes.  Habitual behavior patterns alone can be trusted (for good or for bad), and there’s abundant scientific evidence supporting the notion that the best predictor of future conduct is past behavior. Someone’s words won’t really tell you what you can expect from them. But you can be fairly sure their behavioral history will.

Because we live in a markedly character-impaired age, one of the main pieces of advice I offer in Character Disturbance  is that folks pay much less attention what people say and more attention to their track record.  I also advise that when we do listen, it’s often more important to listen for the subtle cues that character issues might be present (i.e. we need to listen carefully for various tactics and manifestations of problem thinking patterns and attitudes) as oppose to listening to what the person is saying. Listening in a receptive, accepting way to manipulative or other character-disturbed individuals can be quite risky. If we simply take what they say at face value, we’re likely to be unduly swayed. Once the irresponsible character has our ear, we become more vulnerable to all sorts of possible further exploitation. So, it’s important to listen for those subtle indications that a person is trying to curry favor without really earning it (through consistent, reliable actions) or trying to promote a positive image of themselves without demonstrating a legitimate basis for it.

Next week’s article will examine the many ways we can be charmed, some of which are benign but some fraught with danger.  And we’ll take a closer look at some of the more “charming” personality types – including those that are relatively harmless and pleasant to be around and those who, while capable of mounting impressive charm offensives, are primarily out to win at your expense.

As always, if you have questions about this or any other issues discussed on the blog, or have stories to share and have the time to tune in to Character Matters this Sunday at 7 pm Eastern time, I’d love to take your call.

208 thoughts on “Manipulators and Charm

  1. This is such a great topic. All too often in the literature, there is the implication that somehow, we are drawn to jerks because of our FOO or other issues, and we need to shoulder the blame for it. Phooey. Nobody here willingly got involve with an a$$, we got involved with that other guy – the charming one. And you are so right, it never once crossed our minds that anyone would want or need to fake caring for someone. I know now, but I wouldn’t have known without having gone through the experience. I don’t think it’s possible for people who haven’t to conceive that there are such malformed people out there. It’s….so…..contrary to everything we thought we understood about human behavior.

    What I also learned is that the human heart, mind and psyche is the perfect target for brainwashing. We have no natural defenses. The mask falls off slowly, and by the time you begin to understand what’s going on you’re so screwed up you don’t know which end is up. It’s sad that we’re little more than gigantic sponges for the toxicity they put out. It takes a long time to put yourself back together again.

    Thanks so much for posting on the topic. I’m eagerly awaiting part two.

    1. Einstein, phooey is right, about blaming the FOO. That is exactly what the CD blamed me for, said it was my fault someone could come along and “do this” to me (yes, the CD admitted to exploiting me) because my family “made me that way”. My family (siblings & parents) were kind, supportive of each other most of the time, looked after each other, paid a reasonable amount of interest in my life (as much as most larger families will tend to do). They did not bully or disrespect me (not perfect of course, little tiffs but nothing serious) or other people, were mild-mannered conscientious people who worked hard and tried to do the right thing. Yes, we all made our mistakes but we’re a generally neurotic bunch. I and no one in my family had ever witnessed anyone treat someone the way the CD treated me–the shocking turn of events in just dropping the family the CD willfully made with me when the next big thing appeared, telling me to ‘get lost’, then back again, and out again. Talk about charm offensive. Flip flop flip. Flop flip. Flop. The blame was words of wisdom from a person who’s own family is depraved (criminally, yes) I just didn’t know it until years into the relationship. The world needs us neurotics.

      1. blaming the victim in any way is like blaming the old man who got mugged for being old. I don’t care what issues I have or where they came from, it does not justify what he did……another REAL man would step to the plate, roll up his shirt sleeves and address whatever the issues were, like I wanted to do with him.

    2. Indeed! One of life’s learning lessons for me has been that I should not ‘expect’ everyone to think like me. Why should I? Though I once did. That is not to say I consider myself to be superior to others. What I am trying to say, probably badly, is that I was taught from a young age to respect others, to trust others, to not abuse others, to give willingly to others (wherever and however possible), etc etc. I was raised in a Christian household and value the upbringing I received. However the shock that I learned, pretty late in life, it has to be admitted, was in finding out and realising that, to a great many people, those same core values mean absolutely nothing. In fact, to the manipulative, there is an attraction to people having those values (of trying to do good to others) – it makes them ripe targets for all out attack!!!

      1. Very well said, Danny. I think much of the trauma comes from our core belief system being so shaken. I felt violated in such a primal way. We realize the world is a dangerous place. No more sense of safety and security. The realization changes you on a fundamental level.

        1. Einstein, I still feel that way. i don’t really know how to proceed in the world at this point and feel EXTREMELY vulnerable.

      2. I was raised much the same way–to help others in need. For the past year, I’ve been being manipulated by an old college friend and her boyfriend for constant favors, including the use of my artistic talents to make money for their lucrative business–without pay. She’s not respectful of my time when we’re together, and will often create situations to make me stay with her well into the evening-even when I have pressing family issues to attend to. She’s even gone so far as to suggest suicide. What’s difficult is that she’s suffered a head injury from an accident, so I look like a jerk by dumping her as a friend. Additionally, she and her boyfriend are prominent members of our community. I’m coming to realize that they’ve become wealthy off of the work of people like me. Lately, I’ve been making up excuses to not visit her (doc appointments, family situations, etc.) I feel very guilty about lying, but I know that she’s not always rational. She could flip out if I told her that I just need a break from her. You’re so right about that attraction. Giving people, like me, must have a sign up over their head’s welcoming in the takers.

        1. Hi Tess,

          Congratulations! You are already on to their game.

          You should try asserting your boundaries once, and watch her run away from you.

          It is very generous to give something to others, as long as one learn to identify “professional” takers and learn to keep them at bay.

          Instead of reading lot of blog and spending long hours. Simply read “In Sheep’s Clothing”. In $10 and 6 hours of reading 200 odd pages, I am very sure you will have your “Aha!” moment.

        2. Hi Tess,

          In first year of marriage, my wife took to crying. Sometime I melted, sometime didn’t.
          In second year, she threatened suicide. Sometime I melted, sometime didn’t.
          In third year, she actually “attempted” suicide. (hint hint the use of quote). I broke, and took months to harden against it.

          In seventh year, she threatened me with knife. I broke again, and again recovery.

          In ninth year, she threatened with separation with my kids. I broke again, and again recovery.
          In tenth year, separated from her since last 6 month. May develop into divorce, it may not.

          Now, I have the knowledge to figure her out, but constraint with involvement of a good kid. And, she is at prime of her performance. Hopefully, a part separation brings higher level of sanity, but future does not look bright.

          I envy you light situation.
          And, your wisdom to figure things out quickly enough to have a good chance to nip the problem in bud.

          1. Hi AndyD, Doesn’t sound like such a good situation for you. I have a little story to tell you. I took my grandchildren to the mall. When walking down the mall my grandson tried to hide behind me, I abruptly turned around and
            my grandson said, “Granma I cant let that kid see me.”
            I said “why not?”
            Grandson “Because Grama I told him I couldn’t come over because I was sick.”
            I did not cover for my grandson instead I let him fumble through how he told the kid how he now felt much better.
            The point I made to my grandson is that one lie begets another lie. I told my grandson “wouldn’t a better answer have been I just don’t want to today maybe next time.”
            I understand when dealing with the CD how easy it can be and they do put us into precarious situations. I have lied myself, but have found I can’t even begin to keep track of them. “The web we weave when we begin to Lie” by Paul Eckart I believe. I used this analogy of the spider web for my grandchildren. Just a thought. I wish you the best and blessings.

      3. Christian values are a good thing. Because it is part of reflecting the image of God. The world hates GOD because GOD testify that the world is evil. Those are good values your parents thought… The Bible also teaches about wolves in sheep clothing. False teachers etc… And wisdom on watching out for the seductress etc. The purpose for this message.. Is that I hope no one thinks Christian values is just love thy neighbour as thy self… But also to watch out, flee and if one has too defend them self against evil people.

  2. Thankyou from me too Dr Simon, I think this topic has the positive emphasis I’m needing, in looking at the vulnerabilities we have to having the wool pulled over us. Since I came across this site and read the books, the last two topics and discussions have been like having a painful wisdom tooth of denial extracted for me, painful but necessary. There’s an element of humilation involved in acknowledging that I was ‘wrong’ and not as ‘smart’ as I liked to believe after supposedly learning these lessons with the first two ex’s. It really is inconceivable somehow that other people just don’t connect with people the way we do and then as Einstein puts it, you end up not knowing which way is up after being manipulated, which feeds the belief that you hang on to and the wanting to be ‘right’. Then with hindsight, if I had been aware of the behavioural clues and what to look for I would have seen the red flags, like nominating his ex, ‘Bitch’ on his mobile phone contacts and a whole lot of other things I dismissed as nothing to do with me?!

  3. This is a very interesting topic. My experience is that it is best to more focus ones attention on what the CA is NOT doing as opposed to what they may (or may not be saying). I say “not” because there will always be a disparity between their wonderful words and what they do (or don’t do) to back those words up. It doesn’t take too long for all to be revealed because imv manipulative people get bored very quickly, especially when they know someone is on to them. Well, that is my experience anyhow.

    Yes, there is almost always a self seeking agenda totally aside to the words oozing so smoothly from their lips. Of course, as you say DrSimon, they will never be upfront in telling you. Which is why one should always trust ones instincts – if it feels wrong it probably is!

    1. good post Danny but also remember that once you are IN, even if it feels wrong, things don’t add up etc, it’s VERY hard to make the break because of their manipulations. It really is just like a rich being played by and angler. Everyting that fish is given more line it starts swimming away not realizing the hook is still set in it’s mouth.
      And it really does come down to what they are NOT doing. Spathtard SAID he loved me countless times on a daily basis, talked the talk like a man that was dead set to spend the rest of his life with me but there were so many things, SO many things that he did not do……..”I want you to be happy Puddle but I just don’t know what to do to make you happy. This is how I love you (words out of that quack of a relationship’s mouth)”.
      So do I Spathtard……do you WANT to KNOW what would make me happy? “Of course I do Puddle”. and then I would spell out the things and i mean simple things, like shaving so it didn’t hurt to kiss him, drawing me a bath sometimes…….
      N O T H I N G! But then he would draw to my attention that he had shaved during a time when we wouldn’t be together intimately or shave in the mornings before work which assured he would be uncomfortable to kiss later in the day…..I could go on and on here. Saying all of this now it seems impossible that I didn’t really get it but I didn’t. the shaving example went on for probably 9 months, maybe more. And there was so much more to it……..all combined with countless I love you’s. So that still makes me tear up……because I know what was in my heart at the time….no game, no joke, no manipulation. I know how much I looked forward to seeing him every time he came through the door and I know how confused I was.

      1. Puddle, I wish I could be there and hug you as what he said to you is exactly what I heard on a daily basis too. The exact words… “I love you but I don’t know what I can do to make you happy” word for word and…well…then it was “your so beautiful and I love you.” Every day to the point where I knew that it could not be real. And then sometimes it seemed so real. I feel this charm, this superficial BS is at the root of the whole as you say hook, line and sinker! Crikey, I think of the presents, the flowers, the opened doors, the touching, the full on romantic “princess” words and then the betrayal. How gullible was I. This sets the precedent for all that confusion that comes later. It’s almost like an artist who knows his tools so well, who creates the backdrop on the canvas and then turns it into something abstract that you can’t comprehend.
        And waiting for him to come home…I can so feel that right now. I would just wait…wishing (now I am crying) it really $%%^^* you up! Sorry a curse word but I feel so stupid for believing those lies…and it’s over a decade of this BS. I must be getting into an anger stage at present because I feel like I put all my love into something that is now just one big lie, a facade. I wasted a life time on something that wasn’t real. That is probably the hardest thing to come to terms with…that’s the betrayal. Damn it it’s so hard.

        1. Tori, it’s uncanny……I read YOUR words and start crying because what you say is so the same for me and think you for the hug and here is one right back to you. I miss him so much yesterday……almost expecting to see him I just felt so still in it yesterday for some reason. What a complete waste of emotion. I would give everything I have to be loved by someone half as much as I loved him. he accused ME of not knowing what love means……yeah……as if you even have the right to USE the word loser!

        2. Tori 🙂 I just saw this post again…….I’m just blown away by how your words seem to have come out of my mouth……. {{{{{ Another huge hug to you }}}}}

          1. Puddle it’s kinda weird to read that again but that’s how it was and that’s why I was so glad to find this site and to know others like you know exactly what I am talking about and feeling. Here comes the hug!! To you 🙂 I’ve read so much in DV studies etc and sometimes I felt that some of it never quite gelled completely with my situation. Though admittedly you don’t usually get the full picture in some respects you get snippets. I did find one story of another woman’s I wish I could remember the site, where her story was like mine. Her ex could have come out of one of those chick flick romantic movies with all the beautiful little things he did… he made her feel like a princess, the most special person in the world…a hero from a romantic novel…it was my ex to a tee and then on that other side pure violence…not every week, not every month just out of the blue almost, so that you never expected it or couldn’t correlate the two sides. In my situation I never got the over the top verbal abuse it was all subtle. Covert manipulation that I never realised until getting out and finding this site. Although having said that, there was always the little hints of how violent he could be. It’s so unbelievable no wonder we have such trouble getting our heads around this mess. 🙂

      2. Oh my word! How true! The set ups made me even loathe myself even more for getting sucked into the sickening spin cycle. I have heard this hundreds of times. “You are in such turmoil, I wish I could help you be happy.” I did wake up one day and realized he was the source of the turmoil! It is the speaking out both sides of the mouth. “You are my cherished wife.” “It is better off without you.” (Observation: how can this possible to say both things to someone and not have a sane person not responding with conflicting thoughts to deal with, which by the way are irreconcilable to do, and a waste of my life, efforts and time!)

        1. Briarpatch, this sort of thing is a testament to the number they do on you. if were not for their game playing manipulations, toying with your mind and heart, no one would stay. The fact that you/ we did, and WANTED to/ didn’t want to/ couldn’t break free, speaks volumes to the power they have to manipulate. I’ve said this before…………really Spathtard? THATS what you are good at? And you think you are all that and a bag of chips for it? Loser.

  4. You really have to follow your feeling, not the person’s actions or words. If something feels off, listen to yourself. Don’t keep making excuses for someone or give them the benefit of the doubt (when they have showed you who they are on several occasions).
    Going through an emotionally abusive relationship has taught me that the only thing I can control is myself. The more you trust yourself and set personal boundaries of what you expect out of a relationship, the less likely you are to be around toxic people.
    I’m a work in progress! Thinking you are loved and valued by someone is so different than feeling it though. Yet, it’s still hard to let go of. Especially because you know there is that other side to someone. Very tricky. My ex husband was a Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde and I still find myself, at times, wishing that he would magically “see the light” and change. But then I tell myself, I’m going to work on giving myself love, care, and support. That’s all I can do.

    1. I again echo the pattern of this person who is hiding in “seeming” meek passivity (actually more like laying in wait for the prey) and then aggressively stomping under foot (or ravenously ripping the very flesh and life blood out of my soul)
      It is hard to see when you are in the thick of things and reeling from the onslaught, but distance now is making what the storm was more clear with time.

  5. very true Meg,,,,,just hard to do when you are in their clutches. so much makes sense after the fact, unfortunately……

  6. Einstein…….and you can’t learn it until you go through it. A weird question that has gone through my head for a long time…………how is anyone supposed to be good at being in a relationship if they are not in a relationship? Like riding a bike……you can’t ready about riding a bike and then just get on one and go around the block 10 times!

  7. Just wondering if anyone else is having troubles with the website? Loading pages, posting comments/ double comments…..something seems kind of glitchy.

  8. The nature of courtship between normals isn’t entirely upfront. There is a certain amount of posing, donning a bit of a facade, etc…It’s part of the mating dance and primes women for sex. Without that crazy dance, we’re just not particularly interested. A guy can be as nice upstanding as you please but if he can’t mirror a little, if he has no sense of humour or fun, if he lacks intensity and interest and is skimpy with compliments, he’s just not going to be very sexually appealing to women. So, psychopaths just happen to do all these things very well, better than most men. It’s too bad–a damn shame.

    VERY easy to see how women get caught, trapped in the initial stages, during the charm offensive.

    1. Whilst I agree with the your main point LisaO – being the the whole process of courtship is a kind of proverbial personality merry dance, in which we only polish those aspects of ourselves deemed ‘attractive’ for public display, indeed the lesser appealing sides of us are locked away for later viewing…..I was, if I’m honest, slightly alarmed by your gender positioning. Probably not intended! Of course, it could well apply the other way round – we probably both know lots of men who too will end up trapped as a result of the mating game rituals.
      Great point though!!

      1. Danny, that is true, men and women do it……of course. BUT, typically men are the ones who pursue. and in the case of a truly manipulative person you better bet that they are the ones who are pursuing right from the get go.
        And, I think what LisaO is saying here is something about women’s response systems, as in we are programed to respond to a certain amount of effort and male energy. Look at all the displays that the males put on in the animal kingdom. It seems to me that this whole covert manipulation thing happens on a very reptilian brain level……we know that pPaths are locked into that brain and they target and exploit the deeper, older, wounds and needs of the victim, the things that spell survival to the victim. Not survival in the normal way we think of survival……something deeper. I see it but don’t know how to describe it. For me it was devotion……really being connected to someone (adoption issue I’m sure) and how he made me think that was what i had in him was by being with me ALL THE TIME and his empty declarations of devotion, commitment, love, etc. I can almost guarantee he knew right from the start that he could walk away from me/ us with as little effort as it takes to flush the toilet. And at a certain point I’m painfully sure he knew I couldn’t. As someone said…….the one who has invested the most has the most to loose. Well in keeping with the rest of his pathetic life, he invested nothing.

        1. It is a fascinating subject isn’t it Puddle? One of the great things about being on this site is the freedom to express ones feelings and opinions in complete [what feels like to me] honesty, openness and without fear of judgment. LisaO’s comments has given me food for thought, as has Tori’s a bit further above. All of which leads me to the conclusion so far that, perhaps dependant on ones gender, we will feel and experience situations differently – and yet I do not think we are all that different, particularly in those relationships with there is mutual respect and a willingness to achieve common understanding. It can and more than often does happen. I suppose that is why it is good for each partner to set aside time to listen, listen and listen again, talk, talk and talk again. The more talk, the less covert communication, manipulation and worse still, abuse?? I think so!? In amongst my talk, what I enjoy much much more is reading through the comments offered from intelligent and experience contributors, which is an education in itself.
          Yes I agree with you and LisaO that the mating game is one in which cuturally throughout history, the man will more so take the lead in pursuance thereof. However how many of those men are responding to what they will consciously or otherwise interpret as signals from the woman? Communicating to the man and/or making it very clear that more than just platonic friendship is required? That he has been chosen long before he has ‘chosen’ to do the pursuing? I think communication is far more complex than and clearly runs much deeper than the spoken word – so one might ask who is the manipulator and who is the manipulated, particularly if she has put her best feathers on display long before he knew it? And further to which, we haven’t even ocvered the murkier area of same sex relationships in which, if all the research is to be believed so far, instances of emotional abuse measure very high indeed?

          1. Danny, I get what you are saying and I think what you are saying is all very interesting.
            At the risk of turning this into a, men are pigs and women are angels, type exchange, where I’m coming from is based on these notions……… Male energy is active. Female energy is receptive. Males mostly have the URGE (if you know what I mean) sexually and females usually need a little help getting there (if you know what I mean). There are different life stages where this can be more true or less true. Sure, a woman might be giving off signals….and if you are attracted to someone, even just physically, maybe even pheromones. I am a woman so I’m sure I am biased but i really do try to be objective, I try very hard….PLUS…this is something that really has influenced my views,,,,,,I have had the “advantage” of being friends with a lot of men, and I mean A LOT! There are many aspects to this fact so don’t get carried away making assumptions! 🙂 But I’ve known and been friends with more men that the normal woman would be able to claim. That being said, I’m afraid I have seen and heard things that most women probably have not because in most of these friendships I am just one of the guys. This has given me many many positive and negative insights into the male side of life. In some ways it’s a good thing and in other ways, it’s made me very wary. Interestingly enough,,,,,,,,,I STILL got burned.
            So, sure, both genders can be manipulative, both can be abusive but from my perspective the woman is generally the one at the most risk purely because of her inherent female traits.
            Jeeezzzz. I hope that comes across close to what I’m trying to say Danny! And I don’t mean any offense in ANY way.

          2. No offence taken at all Puddle. We agree on most matters, it is impossible to agree on everything. I’m not convinced women are any more at greater risk, any more than being convinced women are more manipulative than men (which historically has been the zeitgeist of the last couple of generations, probably much longer than that). Personally, I feel who really controls whom is not always an easy and straightforward determination. Both genders will try to influence, control and in turn manipulate each other. It can be subtle as it can be clever, mostly covert or blatantly overt or ridiculously foolish….and I believe women are just as capable as men in pretty well equal numbers.

          3. Danny, there certainly are examples of dirty deeds done for both genders. I don’t know how to describe the ways I am manipulative… doesn’t feel manipulative to me and I know it’s not my intent. I just am who I am. SOme people find me charming? Fun, passionate, curious,,,,,,and sexy. The funny thing about the sexy part is that it has always been a mystery to me and the only time anyone has ever told me that and I allowed myself to take it in and start to believe that maybe I was and let myself go there was with Spathtard. Ouch. looking back on that, me exploring the role of being sexy and whatnot……now I feel like a little circus monkey and certainly wonder if he wasn’t laughing at the little puppet he created.I’ve read this on PUA web sites, that is you want a woman to do more for you (if you know what I mean) you make her feel like she is all that and a bag of chips. It gives her the confidence to continue and improve. A bitter bitter pill indeed. I was sincere in every effort I made to please him, sexually, home life, I wanted him to be happy and to feel good, to see my love and feel it. That was exploited to the n’th degree. threw me crumbs and left me begging at the table for scraps that i indirectly accepted and thanked him for. just so sick.
            So, when it comes down to this topic, I think the most important thing is intention.
            There are PLENTY of websites for men to manipulate women, PUAs. I don’t know if there are similar sites for women?

          4. Danny,,,,,I have a question for you that may be behind how i feel about this topic…….
            How many men do you know who have had a woman put drugs in their beverage?
            Me personally……….I know of 5 times I have had someone attempt to drug my beverage. Those are the times I have or someone who was with me caught someone doing that TO ME! I’m just one person… the math! The notion that someone would do that to another person and all that goes along with that is inconceivable to me but “men” DO this! And I know other women who have had it happen. I have never, and remember I do have quite a number of male friends, past and present…… heard of this happening to any man I know. Why??
            Also, there may BE a difference when you really get down to what type of manipulation you are comparing. I am looking at all of this from a malignant intentional manipulation to do harm and outright intentional deception.
            It’s a fact that there are more male rapists, more male serial killers. Why? I don’t know but these are the facts. School shootings…..males! What it that all about? It tells be the balance is not balanced, I don’t know what to do with all that but there it is. If it were the reverse? And the females out weighed the males in these same examples I would want to know why!

          5. hey Danny…..sorry, I totally vented there…just lost all focus and my point. I guess I will NEVER be able to understand “it” from a man’s side because that is not the situation(s) I have experienced so my opinions and perspective is only based on what I’ve experienced personally. You are right, women most certainly are capable of being manipulative but I haven’t encountered one who does what was done to me. Its different though because for me being a woman, I wouldn’t encounter a woman manipulator in a relationship situation so i can’t understand it from a male point of view…..does that make sense?
            OH, I just remembered… point about my “qualities”, the things others have said they see in me……I think what I was trying to say is, could those things be seen as being manipulative? WHEN is someone manipulating? People often dress a little nicer when they go out on a date than they would just hanging out at the house or with close friends. Is that being manipulative? Or sometimes you would like someone to do something for you and you might playfully say “pleeeeease??” if they balk. and then they say,,,,,ooooookaaaay! These things really perplex me!

          6. No apologies necessary Puddle. I know you speak from the heart, as do I. Along the way, we can use our differences to hopefully counter the actions of those who will manipulate. Here is my point…..I personally know two males that have had their drinks spiked – by other males. Male on male violence is almost double that of women victims, in other words almost twice as many men than women are the victims of violence. Dependant on who is doing the reporting, between 40-50% of domestic violence is perpetrated by women. Men make up two thirds of murder victims. I believe I’m right in saying the male suicide rates is about 3 times that of women. I don’t question that men are violent. That is beyond question. However extrapolating how much of that is as a direct result of manipulation is another exercise altogether. Or whether that can be taken to prove that women are most at risk due to male manipulation….it would seem not. Aside from which, we know that women can and are manipulative (as are men), clearly not resulting in the same levels of carnage – the manipulation is mostly for other reasons (which if I went into it would make this post even longer, so I won’t) or to achieve other planned objectives.

            The reason I originally raised this gender issue was in response to points made by LisaO about the nature of courtship, which appeared to suggest a gender bias against men. My view is that some people are horribly manipulative towards others. Manipulation is an instinct inherent in humans alike, for a whole number of complex reasons. And when I say humans it means male and female both – it is just played out in many different ways imv.

          7. Btw Puddle, for clarity, one of the men whose drink was spiked in the example I offered earlier, was the victim of a male and female guilty party.

          8. Thanks Danny! Yeah…..this could go back and forth forEVER!! 🙂 Ahgh! I’m certainly tempted to counter and question some of your examples but I will let it lay and say that I agree to slightly disagree but that’s not exactly accurate. I respect your view to the best of my ability, how’s that? 🙂
            Being a woman, and especially in light of what has happened with Spathtardx, I see the inherent vulnerabilities we face and I am now left with a severe case of feeling VERY vulnerable. This is something that inspire of my colorful bast, being raised with a Sociopath brother….on and on and on…..i’ve never had before in my life. It might be long overdue because my eyes are now wide open where they used to be just slightly squinted. Without the knowledge I have gained at a very painful cost, this was bound to happen and the out come could have been much worse (hoping I’ve suffered as much as I am going to).
            I’ve seen things about myself that are just inherent in my make and life circumstances up that paint a bullseye on my forehead. I really don’t want to be paranoid but don’t know how to reach a comfortable balance. All I can say is that it’s a very good thing I’m fairly comfortable doing my own thing and finding that fulfilling. I doubt very seriously if I will ever take the chance again on a mate but you never know.
            Also, please know that I don’t include every male on the planet in my views and I certainly don’t mean it as any slight towards you as a man.

            ” Manipulation is an instinct inherent in humans alike, for a whole number of complex reasons. And when I say humans it means male and female both – it is just played out in many different ways imv.”

            As I said earlier, there are different types of manipulation, some benign and some pathological. I’m sure there are examples from one end of the spectrum to the other in both male and female perpetrators. The pathological end seems to me to be solidly occupied, but not entirely, by men and yes, the victims can be men or women……or children……or the elderly, etc, etc etc.
            It’s just a sad sad reality to wake up to after all these years. Like waking up and realizing your are no longer in the same world.
            About LisaO’s comment… may sound gender biased but I understand where she is coming from and I didn’t take it as a slam or slight against men. What I believe she is saying is that women need a certain degree of exactly what Spaths possess in the mating realm, the attraction portion of the whole courtship dance, so it makes it a very hard thing to fight off one of these monsters and see them for what they really are in time to make a safe escape. It’s not that there is anything wrong with the courtship dance, it’s just that once the music stops with a spath you look down and find your feet entangled in a web of deceit ……you’ve got N O T H I N G. I suppose the same could be said for the reverse gender situation as well but she is speaking from a woman’s perspective…………yeah, I see your point Danny. A mask is a mask is a mask, huh?

          9. Danny, the male female drink spiking thing……again, i have a lot to be grateful for when I look at the big picture of my life. I’ve been stumbling down a road without my glasses on for a long long time, most of my life actually. The ONLY thing I could ever “thank” Spathtardx for (not that I would because it was an unintentional gift) is that I now have my Spathglasses on and without alcohol blurring my vision I at least stand a chance at being able to protect myself.

          10. Appreciate your comments Puddle. It is a fascinating subject for me and I am grateful in being able to have such a mature exchange of different opinions with you. I can celebrate our shared view that manipulation and all it’s associated negative behaviours is truly repugnant and the more the better of this type of discussion 🙂

        2. Good grief! That maybe explains why he put up no resistance to me moving his things out of the house. He calmly packed the boxes, asked for packing tape and left. I was the one doing all the pleading for change. No amount of talking, no amount of different approaches, no better angles could have been achieved. He had no vested interest….I was the mother bear not wanting to be separated from my kids. He took no pictures of the family or the children, nor of the grand kids with him either.

          1. Yep……and they KNOW their lack of emotion during times like this hurt more that someone backhanding you. I should have taken note that the entire time we wed together he never even took a picture of me………I WAS the one taking pictures or asking him to take a picture of me somewhere we went or of something significant.
            I think Danny said a while back,,,,,,,,”the one who is the most invested has the most to loose”. Well he had no money in the bank.

          2. Bingo Briarpatch…exactly the same thing happened to me…it was the last time i saw him. Only mine was annoyed that he had to pack things away. {i should have I guess) but then I’d just thrown out a whole house…a life into a garbage bin. He didn’t take any photos either…none not even of his own family or his mother who had passed away. He took things he owned. Looking back I too was the one hoping for change…not once did he want to change. He just said, that he was always told that he would ruin peoples lives and that’s what he was doing (no remorse at all it was just a fact). Oh he would have stayed if I helped him with his issues but of course that had never worked. i was a loyal faithful wife…that he acknowledged but it was talking at me and personally it was like I was the dog you pat and then kick in the guts. I still have his photos with me in a box in the shed. I took them because I thought one day he might want them… he won’t. It’s all pretend, I don’t think he cares about anyone except himself…oh he does a good job of looking like a caring person who adores his family but really he has no empathy. He doesn’t care a jot!

          3. Tori, they are dead inside. It’s all a charade. All they can do is fake what they need to get by. Blach!
            I experienced that with Spathtard. I didn’t know what it meant though and he knew how to bridge the gap and keep me distracted from the truth.

        3. I believe all these conflicts if being tresspass against.. Had to do with sin. The Bible say the spirit speaks expressly that in latter times, men shall be lovers of pleasure more than GOD and that the love of men will wax cold.

          Before I became a true Christian I was beginning to learn about manipulation psychological. And I saw the patterns in people I was learning from and in my self… I tried to clean up my act. Though I could never fully… And one day while I was lamenting and mourning over the times I tried to be a man (my fictional idea of what a man is),I realized I have gotten no where closer… And one that moment I remembered what I was thought since I were a child… That there is a GOD. And I looked up from my humble position and pointed to the sky, realizing I was in sin,deep in it. And knew yet despite this the LORD did love me and never had left me. I sought after GOD Almighty ever since.

          Peace and Honor

  9. I’m wondering if anyone can recount with hindsight, something that happened on their first few dates with a CA, that was a warning sign, if there were any at all? What were the things we ignored/dismissed early in the courtship that, with hindsight were really signs of what was to come? I remember on my first date with BB, he gave me wrong directions from the passenger seat, on purpose, so that I took the wrong exit and it made me feel really stressed after about the fourth time, when I realized he was doing it on purpose. It gave me the feeling you have when 20 kids are talking to you at once. Why I didn’t go home and never speak to him again, I’ll never know??? He had already been working on me for 9 months of platonic friendship before this date. He went about figuring out several important things. What I most disliked/feared – then went about Not appearing anything like that…. then what I most wanted from life or was attached to) and went about Looking like he possessed the ability to give me that…..He asked me a lot of questions about myself in the beginning that appeared he was so interested in me and who I am, learned everything he needed to know in order to hook me, then went about it, laying the crumbs for me to find, knowing that if he pushed the ideas himself, I would be suspicious of his intentions.

    1. Great shout Juliette – very interesting question. Mine is in the arrangements leading up to our wedding almost 3 decades ago. I had apparently ‘agreed’ to a family friend being a bridesmaid when I hadn’t. Still, to this day, I know 100% I hadn’t agreed – I was manipulated into being made to think I had agreed. It was my wifes’ first attempt at manipulation (as I recall) and it worked a treat. Pressure was put upon me to relent when I refused to allow the bridesmaid to be amongst the party, after which I apologised for my ‘mistake’ in not remembering the conversation (in amongst all the other arrangements and discussions etc). She knew exactly what she was doing.

      1. Danny, I’ve heard this tactic before too, in a book..’get them to do something they don’t want to’…every inch adds up to a mile eventually then you find yourself looking back across a Grand Canyon at a reflection of who you used to be and you think..’how did I get here’..and call ‘hey you, over there, I miss you’..:-(

        1. It’s like you ripped a page out of my heart with this statement. I just told him tonight, “You keep wanting me to change for you, and the funny thing is that Im not even a sliver of the person I was when I met you. I don’t even know who I am anymore, and that’s all because of you.” He smirked at me and walked away saying a sarcastic, “ooooookayyyyy.” I can’t even tell my kids what kind of snack they can have without checking with him first. And I’m an extrovert! With a college degree! A professional! But now I’m a SAHM so I’ve lost all financial independence, all say in any matter, and am made to feel like that’s the way it should be because he’s the one who works for the money. He accuses me of “wanting to be the man,” and that’s the problem we have. He says that it’s ME that wants the control and that because he won’t let me MANIPULATE HIM, that I end up getting angry. He got upset with me today because I let my kid have milk instead of water. The one time I tried to pack up and leave, he took everything out of my bag and said, “I paid for all of this, so you don’t get to take ANYTHING.” I have spent so long thinking that maybe it’s me. Maybe he’s right. But the way he treats me and the kids ISNT right. I need to make some decisions.

    2. honestly, there never was a “date”# 1……….
      I’ve posted about all the early warning signs before so I can’t bring myself to do it again but the thing I see now is that I DID know something, many things were red flags but I didn’t know what they meant. Possible troubles ahead? More than likely but everyone has issues so red flags at that point were not an automatic good bye Spathtard. They would be today.

      1. Exactly Puddle, I continually dismissed the red flags as just normal human imperfections. Some of them with BB were also what he didn’t do as you say in your post above about shaving. That really struck a chord with me as BB does the exact thing, over and over until I started thinking he had a short term memory problem.. but the truth was something else, he either doesn’t care or likes the idea that I’m in pain and grazed afterwards. And all the other things they don’t do that are TMI and inappropriate to share online for me. An ever present absence of care factor except when it suits their training/reform agenda.

        1. yeah Juliette, I have many examples. ??But why would someone DO that intentionally?? is the underlying attitude of the victim (me). there has to be some miscommunication, right? Once we get that straightened out everything will be ok because I know I love him and why in the world would he even BE here declaring his undying love if he didn’t mean it??
          I’m not the person who throw’s the word love around easily. It’s a very confusing word and concept for me because I’m not sure if I feel love in the normal way most people do. I’m not sure i really “get” the concept or the feeling or something I can’t describe. SO…..I our first fight was over me questioning his use of the word “LOVE”. It seemed wrong and too early and shallow… just didn’t feel right __to me__. I took these feelings and questions to him and got slammed…accused me of calling him a liar, asked me if I had any idea how insulting that was to him. and you would have to have been there to get the full picture of how this all went down. Anyhow, it set me back……I had never had someone react to a question I asked like that before. He did this on a regular basis but not super often.

  10. This is a tough one because in recovery from emotional abuse I lost my nerve from a true romantic respectful relationship because I didn’t know who to trust and was wary of his kindness.

    It was my last change to have children.

    Years later the same person extended a true favor to me, yep he was the real deal, nothing was demanded in return.

    1. Claire, are you saying that you turned away a truly good guy one time, (with hindsight), because you were fearful and not yet recovered from the abuse? That’s what I interpreted it as, just checking. That’s sad…This is something we are all hoping won’t happen to us, I’ve probably done it myself once or twice without knowing for sure, then still ended up with this CA, years later. Our intuition tells us what we need and if that was to stay single, then that’s what we needed the most.

  11. Juliette–Warning signs:

    On first date–dog approached tentatively for a pat. He refused to pat the dog. Just glared at her. She is small and was looking for reassurance and was curious.

    Would not return a compliment with a simple, ‘thank you.’

    Told me that he had woken up thinking about me the night before and produced a letter he had written to me, so moved, that he had been crying while writing it. I remember giving him a wtf look. Like, really, you were CRYING writing me a thank you note? Oh, and the thanks was just for me being me. He liked me just the way I was. I was perfect in every way and his soul mate. These are the kinds of things, minus the crying jag, women really DO want to hear from a Normal and P’s know it.

    Rather incongruous that somebody would cry at the drop of a hat but not pat a shy little dog.

    I swear to God, Nature is filling some kind of niche in the culture into which CDs, particularly psychopaths and narcissists fit quite well. People are becoming more and more atomized.

    We live crushingly lonely lives in a highly competitive society. Our friendships are, for the most part, superficial. Family relationships are breaking down. The people who control the whole sick shebang are disordered themselves. We are living in a pathocracy.

    Lower down the socio- political pyramid, at street level, P’s ruin our lives, in their own special way. They are the rag pickers, the consumers of what is left of personalities already tattered from having to endure this Gnostic prison. I can think of no other time that resembles the present more than Dickensian England.

      1. Things will change. Right now, I think what is happening is we are transitioning towards an automated society with tremendous displacement of large numbers, economically. It is brutal and is being presided over by brutal people. Whether these changes are part of a natural and necessary evolutionary curve or not, remains to be seen. If humanity is marching towards a cyber-singularity, typified by indifference and sameness, but separateness, at deeper levels of the individual’s personality, it frightens me. We could be in the process of a mass reshaping of the personality into something flatter, more superficial, more machinelike.

        1. LisaO, that’s a frightening thought.. very realistic though, it’s already happening. Everywhere we look are messages telling women, you’re too flabby, wrinkly, short, white, black, old, hairy, grey, curvy, dated, big etc…Even men are starting to receive these messages. Then there will always be those of us who try to swim against this tide and will we eventually divide into the Skexi’s and the Mystics, so to speak, such as in the Dark Crystal?! Is this why so many young, enlightened/traumatized women such as my 27yo daughter, are adamant they will never have children or are suffering fertility issues because the collective immunity is taking a stance.

          1. A long time ago I formed the opinion that in an age in which communication is probably at its technological peak……none of us are talking, I mean really talking! So, yes, I agree totally with your comments. In particular, men and women seem more disconnected than they have ever been, with all the signs indicating things will only worsen. This has dire consequences for ALL our futures and imv NEEDS to be reversed.
            Where there is no talk, is fertile ground for miscommunication, innuendo, suspicion and manipulation. Welcome to the future peoples. We all need to wise up.

          2. You know what Danny?? On of the top goals of a Spath is to shut down any real communication. How? In my situation, to ACT insulted about what you are asking. He never offered much in the way of information period, never really volunteered it and when asked about some aspect of his life, former and present, he would either “cop the 5th” by saying he really didn’t want to get into that now or create some dramatic reaction that spun me off center, many tactics. Well there is a reason they don’t communicate redly, less lies to keep track of. IMO

          3. Yes, I’ve experienced that too Puddle. The ability to directly answer questions is a big red flag with the manipulator. Answering questions means releasing the stranglehold of their control… well as the ability to once again claim “….I never said that……!!”

          4. Danny, You mean INability to answer, yes?
            That is exactly what the final episode with Spathtard was. I asked him a direct question because of a long standing lack of interest on his part to do a handful of things I had told him would make me happy. Remember, he WANTED to know what would make me happy. SO, in the absence of these clearly spelled out things happening, I asked him this, : “Spathtard? Do you just think of me as a buddy? Like you know…..not romantically”? This is verbatim exactly what the question was, quote un quote. Well, he excused himself to outside for a smoke because he felt “uncomfortable”. He then came back inside and lectured me on what sounded like the greatest faux pas a person could make…….basically asking him a direct and long over due question on Christmas Eve… if this was some monumentally important occasion that stood out from the rest of the eves in the year for him?? It was hogwash. And culminated with him leaving, running home to mommy’s (to drink I’m sure), telling me on the phone when I called to tell him I was going to drop his breakfast casserole he had made off on the front porch of his Mother’s house that if I set one foot on HIS (HA!) property he would call the Sheriff and then telling me I could choke to death on the breakfast casserole for all he cared. All because I wanted to know why I was being treated like something other then a girlfriend and someone he supposedly wanted to spend the rest of his life with (his words).
            Yeah, refusing to answer direct questions about things that in a normal relationship the other person would have a right to know………….RED flag.

          5. Yes, INability Puddle….that’s what I meant. Amongst the answers I would receive to even the simple of questions were “…..well what do you think?” or “….well if you don’t know now you never will!”. All tactical of course, designed to avoid totally any ‘need’ to commit herself. That was her version of high quality conversation.

    1. I watched Science Fiction, the movie ‘Her’ a few days ago, it is exactly about this and other things and won the Oscar this year for best screenplay. Amazing movie about a guy who falls in love with an artificial intelligence. So thought provoking, a must watch.

      1. Thanks for the reminder, Juliette. Happy to hear you liked the movie so much. Have you been following what is going on in Japan right now, between the sexes. Bizarre. I haven’t seen this movie but it sounds, by your description, to be very much like what is taking shape over there.

        1. No I haven’t. The guy (Joaquin Phoenix) is employed as a love letter writer for people who want their partner/object to think they are this amazing poetic expressive person, (which he is), some people even get him to write their love letters their whole life, to their wife/husband. There are already services like that, that actually exist. I’d love to discuss the movie with someone else who gets it. What were you referring to about Japan? I can feel it coming in essence though!

  12. OMG, I have just discovered the book, The Game, Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick Up Artists,by Neil Strauss, which for some reason has been sitting on my bookshelf for about a year and I thought it was a novel someone left here. It is a manipulators handbook. It wasn’t until I read Elliot Rodger’s manifesto that the PUA thing clicked in and one of Puddles posts, then the Penny Dropped! There are now handbooks for covert manipulation, this is no short story, it’s a Manual for narcissists. Am I alone down here on this big island paradise while the rest of the women in the world already know all about this? It has to be read by every woman who wants to avoid being manipulated. I can’t believe it! I’m a few chapters into it and it’s basic psychology, animal training psychology applied to women by abusive narcissists. These guys run workshops and events and get paid alot of money by their students…Oh I’m almost speechless….Almost!

    1. I’ll be completely honest in saying I know little about this PUA issue. Will have to do some further research. Never discussed anything on the subject when hanging about with any of my male friends/associates. I can definitely see how it can be used as a manipulation textbook, with dire consequences to those women who might come under the spell. And guys making ££/$$ through running workshops?? Yikes……

    2. I’ve heard of the book and the PUA community and thought it’s basically some men lacking substance in their lives seeking gratification when they’d do better doing it some other way.

      The book sounds creepy. It sounds like there is hollowness inside some men(and why not women, too?) and they seek to satisfy it like hunger.

      1. Indeed J. It would be interesting to know how widespread is this phenomenon……beyond a number of idiot men trying it on in this way. I can’t see it lasting.

          1. it’s so Spathish to pick up women…….but they don’t know how, and never will, to keep one happy because in a relationship it can never be just about you. there has to be something real, something you truly value about the other person that motivates you to want to please them. Otherwise, you could walk up to anyone on the street and have a relationship with them. Spath’s don’t value someone they have captured anymore then they value a cigarette but they carelessly flick out the window. Everything and everyone is disposable and replaceable because their relationship with it/ them is careless as in care less.

        1. On PUA, I will relate the table of contents in Chapters..
          1. Select a Target
          2. Approach and Open
          3. Demonstrate Value
          4. Disarm the Obstacles
          5. Isolate the Target
          6. Create an Emotional Connection
          7. Extract to a Seduction Location
          8. Pump Buying Temperature
          9. Make a Physical Connection
          10.Blast Last Minute Resistance
          11.Manage Expectations
          I’m only at demonstrate value and already ‘I’ve got chills…they’re multiplying’.
          On the average unsuspecting/trusting woman this stuff really works, I can just tell by reading it. The whole thing is covert aggression and manipulation. Like the ‘Neg’, is a tactic used to disarm the target of confidence and lower her self esteem, (it actually uses the word self esteem!) you give her an insult that is camouflaged as a compliment. It lists several examples like..’that’s a really cute overbite you have’..or ‘those shoes look really comfortable’ this is a disarming technique.

          1. One technique Spathtard used in the VERY beginning was to tell me he felt like he was walking on egg shells around my house…..sounds sweet, yes? No………that is a way of telling me to back off, he doesn’t find it enjoyable being asked to do things in the way I would like them done in MY HOME. He was going to do things the way he pleased anyhow and did. Even asking him to lock the frigging door when he left and I was still in bed turned into an issue. I mean, what MAN wouldn’t Do that anyhow?? Especially when pointed out to him that it was a safety concern for me. so FINALLY that was mastered only to be followed by…….the shaving issue, leaving cigarettes burning in the ash tray in the WOOD shed, etc etc etc…

          2. Mmm, Puddle are you sure him and BB aren’t twins separated at birth! Letting me drive around with a bald tyre with a bolt right through it that could erupt at any moment, whilst snoring on the couch after I came home from work.. and made dinner.. and did the washing.. and serviced him. Then went to get the tyre fixed myself after doing the shopping and suddenly realized that I’m not the precious after all.

          3. OMG Juliette, there was a tire issue as well………
            I continually have to remind myself that it’s not that he didn’t “get it” in regards to a relationship and how to take care of a woman. He GOT it, just didn’t DO it because there was no relationship. During the death throws, following the actual break up, during one of our “reunions” which were basically phone/ email…….he reasoned why the relationship couldn’t work was because he “couldn’t do anything right”…….couldn’t cut the grass right, couldn’t do the dishes right couldn’t f me right”….all pulled right out of his bumm. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite in the loop yet about these losers because I missed a golden opportunity to say, “Spathtard, do you really think I’m stupid enough to not know the difference between couldn’t an wouldn’t”? Unfortunately some part of me was stupid enough at the time…………….obviously!!

          4. Puddle!! That’s all I hear at the moment..’I can’t say anything right’….’everything I say is wrong”….’its like I’m an Aircrash Investigation being investigated’ (it was on tv tonight).//.’every time I say something all that happens is I get hammered’..’it was just a suggestion!’….
            The strange thing is that I’m not saying a word the ‘wrong’ way, all I’ve been doing is acting neutral and responding in ways that are different to the way things used to be in response to being manipulated. Like saying, in a nice, caring tone..’I’m hearing what you are saying but that was not my question’ or ‘you still haven’t answered my question’..or ‘it doesn’t seem that we have the tools between us to discuss this adequately don’t you think?’….The whole game has been turned on its head. I’m almost there and so scared that he will read this site one day and another part of me refuses to silence myself based on that fear. I delete the history every time, even knowing I’ve been doing that is making him up his ante..I’m going to leave this relationship very soon, even if I die trying.

          5. Do you find he actually ‘communicated’ or rather manipulated better by text and email at times of stress or when the relationship was being questioned? That’s exactly what BB does, where his body language can’t be read and his tone can be possibly ‘misinterpreted’, depending on my reaction. Loading on guilt today. ‘I can’t do anything right’….’Disaster is my middle name’…All guilt tripping, blame shifting tactics aimed at eliciting a neurotic response, that deep down we are just ‘Nags In Sheeps Clothing’…baaaaaaaaa then puts heaps of xxxxxooooxxx at the end of the text.

          6. Juliette,,,,,,,define ?
            “Do you find he actually ‘communicated’ or rather manipulated better by text and email at times of stress or when the relationship was being questioned? ”

            I don’t even know these things anymore since everything was BS,,,,it’s just fading and fading….why? Because it doesn’t mater anymore, why? It was all BS!

          7. Juliette, there were things he said and did that were just so off the wall childish that I somehow could not even process them. I remember him sitting in his car one night, we were having a fight (aka, I had displease his highness again by wanting to be treated with respect) And he starts refusing to talk….. “Ok, then I’m just not going to say anything because I’m always wrong”. One of those wtf moments…, what?????? I wish I would have asked him “How old are you right now Spathtard?”

          8. Puddle, that’s exactly what I’m describing, ‘I had displeased his highness again by wanting to be treated with respect’. What you describe as his response is BB’s main opt out/diversion/guilt trip attempt when stumped. Even when he has started the conversation, this is inevitable where it ends. Before learning what I have from Dr Simon’s insights and using a different approach when communicating with him, this technique just caused me to be confused sometimes, not always though. It would get me to question what I knew and was as plain on the nose on his face, that he was avoiding true heart to heart communication. Then I would think..oh perhaps poor BB just needs some better communication skills, so the conversation would shift to me giving him a communication lesson and tiptoeing around his poor hurt feelings. Hey presto, conversation changed, opportunity for BB to ‘look’ greatful for learning something, I feel like maybe there’s hope here and were having a ‘growth moment’ and he would get up, leaving the conversation…’would you like a cup of coffee darling?’…and I’ve in effect just been hooked again when I was actually trying to communicate something important to me and now it’s just been thrown out the window. BB just kicked a goal and I just got neglected and manipulated again. So now, like you describe above, I see the pattern, the offensive tactics as just that ..offensive strategy and am just sitting back taking it all in and responding differently whilst I plan my safe exit. Most of what allows us to be manipulated for such a long time, I believe is the false belief ignorance, immaturity whatever else. We think that just with a little effort, love and education that these things can be ‘cured’. Especially when the CA says at the opportune moments, when there is a crisis for them of fearing they will lose us, that they want to learn and they love us so much. We assume that they are their own worst enemy and that poor them…they deserve to be loved, it’s all Mummy and Daddy’s fault for not teaching them. We’re hooked…all the while they are actually being offensive and smiling on the inside that it’s working. For me I’m still in the ‘caring’ part because I haven’t escaped yet, I know it’s all BS and I don’t mean care about him, I’m just working this out for the first time in my life and suddenly the rest of my life has fallen into place and flashing before my eyes with a new awareness.

          9. Juliette,,,,,yes, all painfully familiar, ALL of it. Familiar and so sad. I know I was not playing a game but got my feet held to the fire for every mistake I made as a result of unknowingly being manipulated and played. See, you have figured this out while you are still with him. I had but I had not really. that is one of the hardest things to explain…how could I see but not really get it? My only answer was the barrage of empty promises, “I love you’s”, etc,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I don’t understand still,,,,,if he didn’t want to be with me, why did he make such a constant point of being with me? Like a LONG time ago……he could have just walked away and it would have been done. I guess he couldn’t resist playing someone so gullible. I made it so easy for him….

          10. Puddle, reading all of your insights, vulnerability and anger has really helped me these past few weeks as I get a plan together. Thankyou so much. I’m really scared of the aftermath though, trying not to let that motivate me too much like it has all the other times I suggested separating to him. He refuses to let go and I’m thinking that this time I just have to do a disappearing act for my own good. He’s dangerous when faced with the reality of losing the precious. I’ve thought the same thing so many times ‘If you want to be with me so badly, then why do you act like I’m not important to you at all!’. I think having a partner for them is part of their impression management to the world, we are another object in their world. Sounds to me that Spathard also waltzed straight from Mummy’s into your normal,tidy, nature loving, colourful, excitng world, hoping to take the crown as lord of the manor eventually and keep you as Mummy with fringe benefits. That’s pretty much how BB is. He works though but had always wasted every cent he earned before he met me and has nothing to show for decades of working. Now he has this veneer of normalacy if he can keep me and it elevates his status in a way that he can’t attain on his own. They bite off way more than they can chew and so by disarming us of our resistance they still get to keep the crown and Manor if they can pull it off.

          11. Juliette, Spathtard works as well, for a contractor in this area that has one of THE worst reputations around here,,,,kind of the laughing stock, hires a bunch of druggies, alcoholics, losers. I think he wanted me to be in Mommys roll for sure, not friggin likely. I LOVE to play house… problem but his mommy? Yeah….I don’t think so. Idiot. He wants the home bases covered and I’m sure he had something else “going on”. Honestly he had some serious feminine vibes but nothing i could ever get clear enough about. Other people have said it to me too…. There are those men that want the home front taken care of and then do what ever they want behind “mommys” back, the more twisted the better I’m sure……whatever. Then why in the world did he even bother with me?? He already has a mommy to take care of him.

          12. Juliette, you do have to be cautious. Major plan type thing and don’t write it down anywhere. Safety first.

          13. Because the view from your windows are nicer than at her basement, because you are better company (with fringe benefits), she’s going to die eventually or god forbid, he might have to make her dinner in a few years when she gets old. They need us to do that too. BB’s Mummy will leave him wealth so he has to keep us the facade that he cares about her but he is too lazy so delegates that to my department. How convenient. If only I will take this other extra burden on, I get to help him spend it all. Another distraction to keep us occupied and lost to who we really are. No thankyou! I would rather live in a third world country in a tent, dishing out healthcare to starving refugees for free.

          14. Thankyou Puddle, I know, that’s why I’m scared he will read this site and have been deleting the history which is causing him to become suspicious in itself. I’ve even considered asking Dr Simon to delete me from here recently but I have boldly decided that I am not going to be consumed with the fear to that extent. Once I have left or just when it happens is the high risk time. He is 6’4, muscles everywhere…huge. If he was a dog he would be a Bull Mastiff. Deep breath……:-))

          15. Sad to say this but I use to be part of pua community… And all of that I was thought. It wasn’t until I heard the word manipulation, when I decided to search what that was and then I started to see what they were really teaching. I thank God for taking me out of that place… I wish I never were there.

  13. Some thoughts building on what I’ve said here before:

    This concerns some old psychological ideas. Weren’t Freud’s theories considered a final nail in the coffin of humanity that increasingly got to find out how little control it had, even supposedly over itself(ruled by unconscious forces)?

    I’ve attended some comparative literature courses. Freud got inspiration from the Romantic Age literature that brought to surface the idea that there are forces in human psyche that seek to hinder and prevent enlightenment(I can see similarities to Jung’s idea of autonomous complees). Freud also got inspiration from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

    Then I’ve wondered here about radical evil and why some theories still apparently believed like Dr Simon says they believed and still believe. Has the concept of radical evil been more sophisticated a form of “the Devil made do it” -defense?

    Also, haven’t there been myths that charactized the faults of humanity? In Greco-Roman mythology, Zeus/Jupiter just wouldn’t keep himself from doing human women he noticed, jilting his wife Hera/Juno, who herself could be very petty. In humans, there are examples like Tantalos, Lycaon and Clytemnestra.

    Another example would be from the Bible, Sodom and Gomorrah.

    An example of a conniving personality I found is Haman from the Book of Eshter.

    (Just in case you wonder, I’ve found these by simple Googling. Some Greco-Roman examples I’ve read for one exam, that’s how I recall them.)

    It seems like people have fallen in love with some myths and forgotten about others, especially those that seem, to me at least, to point to conscious evil humanity is capable of.

    1. J, I’m afraid you are in over my head again! 🙂 BUT, in these myths and Bible stories, etc……isn’t their usually a consequence they point to? Don’t they usually point to a “cost” you pay by living for choosing to indulge your baser instincts?

    2. Well summed up. Don’t some myths show that humans can get all depraved? It’s like those myths have been forgotten and some myths that symbolize unconscious forces have served as inspiration for those old psychological models that thought we are all the same beneath. Or perhaps myths have been mis-interpreted?

      1. ok, this is interesting and just one view. I’m SURE I am not going to sum it up correctly and probably should do my homework first but I’m not going to! 🙂 In Vedic(?) (India) beliefs and spiritual practices, there are different levels of spiritual mastery. One of these levels involves pursuing your material desires, please don’t quote me here! So, it’s like you have to go after what you want if you have the drive to do so or you will never be able to release the desire. I can not think of the right wording to even look this up! I was friends with a man from India and he was explaining this to me but it’s been years ago.
        My point being this, in these fables and stories and myths, the characters are doing just that…..they are going after a desire and since there is a consequence to every action we choose to take, positive and negative, they will experience that consequence and learn a lesson. Would they ever be able to learn that lesson if they didn’t experience the consequences? Really, all of these stories point to the same thing….for every action there is a reaction.
        I don’t think that makes me feel any better about Spathtards though.

      2. Nothing will, I guess.

        Those Vedic(?) tales sound interesting in a way. Does sound like something that makes sense. We can’t just sit on our buttocks and be altruistic marders.

        A loose connection to what I’ve read in Mastery, a book By Robert Greene. We all have our unique Life’s Task imprinted in our DNA, never to be repeated.

        To think some people’s brains become the way they are so that they aren’t interested to do anything of true worth.

      3. J, like the Greek mythology of Elysium, the place where virtuous and brave warriors go when they die. The reward for just and virtuous fighting over evil.

    3. Hi J, another great, food for thought set of questions. I’m no Freud scholar but I do think we have him to thank for the ball he started rolling, that others like Jung and those that came after them, have developed into our modern understanding of lifespan development. I’m not so sure that we have a death drive though. Freud’s ideas on religion and the need for a father figure I find very interesting too. I think he hit many nails on the head and others he completely missed or bent the nail whilst hammering it into the wood all the same! His ideas were based on the cultural norms of his time and his own Jewish background, Darwinism, sexual repression, circumcision, overly controlled impulses, patriarchy and phallus being the be all and end all. Not long before all that, women were having their uterus and ovaries removed for being upset/breaking down. Which probably made alot of them ‘man up’, pull themselves together and soldier on rather than face what men might do to them if they drop their bundle! What do you mean his ideas were the final nail in the coffin of humanity? Do you mean the death of a previous paradigm of control and the dawn of a new era of exploration of the inner world? When I consider such big concepts as the questions you ask about evil.the devil etc I try to go back to the time when humans were not influenced by the Viking, Celtic, Roman or Judeo Christian Gods..To the time when we were closer to nature/animals and our place in the ecosystem. I imagine, (I may be wrong though) that this is where our true unconscious forces were at play without the repressions and problems that our modern versions of society and religion have given us. Like the religions, myths and pro-social customs we see in modern Indigenous peoples before invasion. Like the story of the wolf you feed. I think people then saw the evil/good as being within people, which in my opinion is where it always has been and always will. It annoys me that each religion calls certain things about other religions evil. Like Christians say reading the Tarot is evil and various other examples that Infedels do, that it is not politically correct or comfortable for me to elaborate here. What I’m trying to say is that evil is a subjective thing according to the agenda of the religion talking about it.

      1. To get what I’m talking about when I talk about radical evil, I refer to Facing the Dragon by Robert Moore. Interestingly, Moore claims that when we don’t relate consciously and healthily to our natural grandiosity, its energies turn satanic, so to speak. This sounds so fancy, but please think about it for a moment.

        Moore has interesting theory in that when we don’t receive strokes for our grandiosity we deep down wish for, our grandiosity gets mad in a way. Grandiosity handled wrong causes all kinds of horrors, including violence. It can tempts us to kill someone else. It can also turn against us, attacking us and chiding us to suicide(ugh!). You know, pretty much like Robert Firestone’s theory of anti-self.

        1. J, Is this a variation of ,”we are all Gods,” New Age type philosophy? I think our decency, goodness core beauty need validation–if they exist–more than our grandness. There are too many young people thinking they are just grand and without anything to really back it. That to me, is more the social risk.

        2. Hi J, I have read quite a bit of the Firestone’s works online and viewed some youtube stuff too. I just had a wiki read about Moore and when I’m finished The Game, ugh it’s painful but I want to absorb it, I will read Moore’s Facing The Dragon. The Amazon reviews and wiki read have got me fascinated too. I’ve also long held the belief that we lack the rituals and proper reverence for ceremony in our society these days. Childbearing and menarche/menopause make certain life transitions easier for women. Men just don’t have any of the outward defining lines like these in their lives and industrialization has robbed them of so much and given their grandiosity new challenges I imagine, that are so much more complex and complicated than things have been throughout earlier stages of our evolution. So does this grandiosity without the proper development turn into the mass narcissism we see today. I think you would really like the reading the book, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness by Erich Fromm. It explores with great scientific and academic credibility the question of whether aggression is or is not inherent in human beings and how human aggression is similar/different from that of the animal kingdom. It explores right back from the early theorists,in great depth the concepts of the types of aggression as well as Sadism and necrophilia as a cultural phenomenon, not just a sexual one. Also things like, the atom bomb, the life of Hitler and his main henchmen, from infancy, the holocaust.

        3. No, LisaO, Facing the Dragon isn’t New Age philosophy. If anything it also criticizes New Age philosophy as manifestation of rampant grandiosity.

          We are born as a being full of drives. We have a natural desire to shine in some way. I think some people don’t care about recognition as much as others, but legitimate recognition is something worthwhile.

          This latent grandiosity can be handled so many wrong ways. It can be squashed, left without validation, which is not good for development of mental health. It can be undisciplined, in which case it also gets destructive.

          Grandiosity can inflate or it can attack, telling how a person is no good.

          “Personal traumas make people vulnerable at various times in their lives to possession By certain archetypal patterns of destruction that have their own organization and agency and do not derive simply from less than perfect parenting. These objective psychic realities are alien to the personal and family history, and yet are so common that humans throughtout the world recognize them when confronted with them.” (Facing the Dragon, pg. 38)

          1. J, that really struck a chord with me. It wasn’t until I was badly traumatized by the time of ex no 2, the PPD, that the dark side took hold of me and still lingers as an ego state to date. I’m really looking forward to reading the book.

        4. And no, before anyone says, I’m not suggesting we all have traumas. I do believe archetypal grandiosity is present in all human beings and there are many ways it’s handled wrong.

          1. J, is this the same thing, this grandiosity that all humans have, as the narcissistic phase of development a child goes through when separating from the narcissistic bond with the mother? And then phase two the teen ager separates from the family? Or in unhealthy cases, they don’t.

          2. this might be semantics to a degree. When I think of the word “grandiosity” I think of an overblown sense of self rather than a healthier form of self respect.

          3. I expand a bit on Moore’s words.

            At least according to Moore, grandiosity tempts all. I get the feel that a normal person, who’s not a narcissist per se, can get too confident and stumble over himself. He does also talk about people, who haven’t developmentally gotten off their so-called high chairs.

          4. Love the highchair term J! Thanks for that one!
            Anyhow, I think there are all kinds of “demons” that temp us all to varying degrees. But if we care about our character, self esteem and respect ourselves and others, we do our best to walk the middle road, that is doing what is right for ourselves while trying our best to do right by others. It can never be 100% because we are imperfect but we can strive for that balance and as you mature, you realize that those things that you were so tempted by when you were younger really are not the true source of contentment and fulfillment anyhow. BUT you have to put the bottle down, cut the apron strings and get out of the high chair to make that realization. It’s a risk and a process but i’m a much better person now that I was 25 years ago when I really started that process and now that drinking is behind me (HA!! That was my bottle) It’s like a huge deep sigh and I feel a calmness I’d never known before.
            It really is somewhat of a miracle and probably, indirectly, another reason that this whole spathfest has been so disorienting for me… I woke up from two different nightmares at the same time and the huge crutch of alcohol that had been there for me for YEARS was not there to lean on in the aftermath of Spathtardx. So, swallowing a bitter pill with no water…..

          5. I’ve experienced it myself, when I’ve been amongst a group of people and seemed to be left out, like I didn’t count at all. It’s like you aren’t regarded as important.

            I don’t think anyone wants to be unimportant(exceptions do occur, of course). If we don’t fit in, it can be like an affront to our self-worth.

            I’d hear some inner voice whispering: “What are you doing, trying to ‘let it be’? What’s the matter with you?” I must’ve stumbled upon the practice of active imagination without realizing what it was.

          6. J, I understand,,,,,it IS painful when you are on the outside. I went through that as a kid because I was kind of weird. I didn’t like the things most girls like. I was a very active and curious child. I loved nature and exploring….. No dolls, etc. But I really wanted to be accepted and guess what? I found that when I drank I was accepted and I didn’t feel that social discomfort so like EVERYTHING I do (Laughing) I immersed myself in it!! And i was GOOD at it, I mean I’d been drinking since I was an embryo! So I did plenty of things to “fit in” but something also remained of ME and when I made my first attempt to stop drinking at the age of 30,,,,,something clicked and I basically rediscovered who I really was and had always been all over again.

  14. Juliette,

    Just as an aside, the whole idea that there was EVER a golden age of humanity, where people lived in harmony with nature, usually presided over by matriarchs leaves me scratching my head. I know it is popular notion radiating out of women’s studies in academia, but it isn’t backed up by much evidence.

    People have always had the seven deadly sins to deal with. Culturally, we are poised on a knife edge right now, between darkness and light, for lack of better metaphors. The pre-Judeo-Christian shamanic societies, though richer in many ways. (NO bad hymns, no boring church, with uncomfortable pews) segue easily into sorcery preoccupied domains.

    There are tribes in South America whose numbers are down to the hundreds, reduced in the last fifty years from tens of thousands…and nearly all due to unnatural deaths, murder. Everyone who got sick assumed that they had been cursed and retaliated with their own curse. If that didn’t work and the person died, the family murdered the suppose caster of spells.

    Studies have been done of the Yanomami, to support the contention that resource competition is behind the intense warfare, domestic abuse etc…The results of the studies have shown that warfare was mainly due to men competing for wives. No scarcity of women, they just wanted to have as much fun as possible and likely more women to lavish attention on them.

    When archeologists explore caves and rummage through ancient fire pits they find a lot of human bones. And every person alive contains mitochondrial DNA that supports the premise that there was cannibalism in our background.

    There were no good old days. There was horrible stress, slaughter of children and warriors to carry out conquest, aggression. I think maybe the same warrior gene, reworked through modern times, and not put to work killing foes, turns inwards, attacks members of it’s own society.

    P’s could be a part of the cultural immune system that goes haywire when left with no ‘job’. They are intra species predators in one sense. They could also be compared to an auto-immune reaction that will kill the body.. All P’s have deep resonance is their own will, their contrariness and the desire to destroy.

    1. Yeah LisaO, I was thinking along similar lines to what you are describing and thinking whether those kinds of examples may be where we find some of the answers to a more unadulterated form of human aggression and the unconscious forces that drive it. When I typed the original post I was also thinking of the Mayans and their human sacrifices and other such cultures that were cannibals. I think the new age movement has romanticized so much of Indigenous culture too, to get people to buy more dream catchers and rainmakers. Have you ever explored the mythology of Chiron the Wounded Healer? The planetary archetype representing Chiron is the fragmented asteroid belt in the middle of the solar system.

    1. Woah! Fascinating..LisaO, I just watched the doco on Japan. I’ll have to let it all sink in for a while. It seems Japan is a microcosm of the macro level of what we are all heading for. I think back to ten years ago when I read Shogun and how the Japanese were ‘civillized’ long before the rest of the world. They had pro-social customs and things like sanitation and cleanliness when we were still throwing our waste and excrement out of the window into the street and building our societies with slaves. They called us barbarians then. I wonder what their rate of psychopathy and other character disturbance is?

  15. Whilst I agree with the your main point LisaO – being the the whole process of courtship is a kind of proverbial personality merry dance, in which we only polish those aspects of ourselves deemed ‘attractive’ for public display, indeed the lesser appealing sides of us are locked away for later viewing…..I was, if I’m honest, slightly alarmed by your gender positioning. Probably not intended! Of course, it could well apply the other way round – we probably both know lots of men who too will end up trapped as a result of the mating game rituals.
    Great point though!!—Danny

    Hi Danny, I am working from a set of assumptions that may not be true and from personal experience which is limited. My assumption is this. The warrior gene of the P is live hard, die young, impregnate as many women as you can and then split. A man with these genes, through the course of even a short life, might get several women pregnant and father countless children. Out of that horde,–historically speaking– maybe 4 or 5 become highly functional decent human beings. The rest, deprived of a father to help look after them are at risk.

    This mating strategy doesn’t work for a woman. She is bound by the limits of her body. She can’t have a hundred children. And again, historically speaking, with high infant mortality, under the best circumstances, she would have to be foolish on all levels, including genetic survival, to mate with a bunch of different men and intentionally leave them, with her children in tow. She and her children would be vulnerable. Plus, in the past anyway, major scarlet letter , getting called a slut, social stigma attached.

    Now, what might be occurring presently is a distortion of dynamics that have held pretty constant till modern times. This could explain an increase in female psychopaths. But still, the P personality type is, I feel, going to be disproportionately male.

    Now the other CDs like passive aggression or just lying being bossy, pushy, mouthy, deviant in any number of ways….for sure. How about status seeking narcissists–plenty of female narcs. So your point is well taken. I just don’t think that you can extend the 50/50 pattern of psychopathy by gender, because really, doesn’t quite make sense.

    1. Hi LisaO. Interesting to read your feedback – thanks 🙂

      At this point I may have to defer to the good DrSimon. Perhaps he can give the required clarification. My view is that manipulation covers a range of behaviours, which are effectively played out in different ways dependant on all manner of different situations and in addition, of course, whether male of female being the perpetrator of said negative behaviours.

      However I think it is a trait that is present in humans, men and women alike. I may be wrong. This website is a continual learning experience – an opportunity to gain further insight.

      1. I’ve been monitoring this discussion with a great deal of interest. It never ceases to amaze me how knowledgeable, thoughtful, and thought-provoking my readers are. And at the risk of disappointing some, I’m going to make only a few very general comments to help guide the discussion:

        It’s always been the aim of scientists (both behavioral and physical) to discover simple, fundamental, general rules that govern the workings of things in our world. But alas, even the most eloquent “laws” end up having holes in them. We’re still learning about so many things. And if there’s one big lesson that can be learned from earlier attempts to promulgate laws of human behavior it’s that overgeneralizing what seems to be an irrefutable fact in some situations into a theory or set of principles that must govern all behavior is not only bad science but dangerous science. That’s exactly what happened with all the traditional theories based on observations about “neurosis.”

        Now when it comes to predatory and/or psychopathic behavior, there’s no doubt that historically more males are prone to this kind of behavior and there might, as some speculate, be some adaptive benefit to this behavior with respect to reproduction and survival strategies, etc. But socio-cultural influences no doubt play a role, too, and we are seeing prevalence rates rise for females (it’s hard to get accurate data because of the ever-present bias in the professional community to diagnose women differently than men even when they present the exact same signs and symptoms).

        Now when it comes to manipulation, although covert-aggression is the most frequent vehicle, it’s certainly not the only one. And men and women are equally capable of manipulation, although the manifestations of it can differ quite a bit. And when it comes to covert-aggression, as is the case with all forms of aggressive behavior, men have historically been more prone to engage in it, although, once again, that appears to be changing, and again, largely for socio-cultural reasons. With respect to the type of aggression men vs. women are prone to engage in (covert vs. overt, sadistic, predatory, etc.), there perhaps was a time when it was more adaptive for women to use active/covert or passive strategies, especially given the taboos against more overt displays.

        I think we need to be careful about talking about “traits.” We are, at heart, all animals with primitive instincts. And the whole of civilization is but a small blip on the chronological radar screen of human existence. Moreover, as I’ve said countless times, socialization is a process (a process that helps transform and elevate us from mere animals). And in repressive times, when societal demands for noble behavior are high, we can get very neurotic. Whereas in permissive and entitled times, we can easily become character deficient. We’re living in a time where there are few sanctions against and many “rewards” for letting our more primitive “tendencies” and inclinations (as opposed to “traits”) run amok. And while there are few women who would have indiscriminate sex for the adaptive purpose of making as many babies as possible before going out in a blaze of glory (as would be the case for “P” type men), I’ve treated a surprising number who, like several men I’ve known, have engaged in multiple acts of “conquest” sex, sex for purely manipulative, hedonistic, and exploitative purposes, etc. All the rules we once thought fairly general and universal are being broken with regularity.

        I think it’s always risky to arm-chair theorize. The most valuable contributions I think we can all make are in sharing our experiences. To formulate general rules and thereby bias our perceptions and world-view in the process is risky, especially in our time. Science is supposed to advance and guide us to the truth of things not by folks gathering evidence that their “theory” is correct but by continually looking for the exceptions to the rule that force the “theorists” to re-think and modify their positions. It’s a principle that I’m afraid even the best scientists have forgotten, if not abandoned.

        1. All very interesting DrSimon. Thanks for the clarification. And, yes, ‘inclination’ not ‘trait’ was the intended expression (I was grasping desperately for the correct expression and leapt into the wrong mental cupboard). I particularly found your comment about the overall effects of a repressive world scene, as opposed to more permissive/entitled times, and the affect of this on individual behaviours in our dealings with each other. Wow…..that is fascinating information!
          And might I say I’m very grateful to those contributors who have helped make this a stimulating exchange of opinions, all conducted in a calm and reasoned manner. Thank you 🙂

        2. Dr Simon and anyone interested, here is a link to an interesting case that happened in Australia. This young women left her toddler on the rocks close to the waters edge at a marina/harbour then went a long way away and directed search efforts toward the wrong place at the other side of the marina hundreds of metres away, claiming someone had taken her baby from the pram there. She pleaded guilty and the judge accepted that she never intended to kill her son. She most certainly did. She had been for a manicure just before she did it and was trying to contact the child’s father to baby sit for the night. After the crime, she went out for the night to the event she had been planning to all along knowing her son was dead because a couple found him floating in the water that evening, at this stage she hadn’t become a suspect or arrested. She posted messages of grief and lapped up the attention of her friends on the afternoon it happened but still went out to party all the same, surrounded by support and the centre of attention. (I heard these things on the news at the time when it happened and saw the Facebook posts), The judge accepted that her crime wasn’t intentional and she received so much compassion for her situation at the time. She is a classic example of a young facebook generation Y narcissist and CA who just found her child to be in the way in the end and decided to dispose of him. Then used the system’s blindness to get herself the lightest sentence possible when she was caught. Silly girl was so intensely focused on killing her son that she failed to see the CCTV camera that caught the whole incident on camera. It defies belief that the evidence didn’t convict her of intention homicide.

          1. Hmmm…..shades of Casey Anthony. I have to wonder who’s sicker, the psychopath or the society that refuses to accept them.

            And the cycle continues.

          2. Again Juliette, this seems to me a classic example of what can happen….,and perhaps happens more than is given recognition. Imv you are striking right at the heart of the matter. Whilst I do not know ALL the details surrounding this case and can comment only on the information provided, this seems very close to the what Dr.Simon was touching on when he said “…….it’s hard to get accurate data because of the ever-present bias in the professional community to diagnose women differently than men even when they present the exact same signs and symptoms…..”. I do wonder what would have been the conclusion were it a man that had been guilty of what Gemma Gaye Killen had done? So is it any wonder that the common consensus seems to be that men are more prone to exhibit manipulative behaviour?

          3. “He also argued that imposing life imprisonment would be “unjust” because of her age and that she never intended to kill or harm her son. He also said his client showed a “lack of consequential thinking” at the time.”

            Ummmmmm…… could it show lack of consequential thinking??? Of all the places you could stash a toddler if drama was all you were after?? By the water’s edge seems like to spell out pretty clearly what the intention was.
            Also, it says something to the affect that she was only 22 years old. ONLY??

        3. Thank you, Dr. Simon for your integrity and refusal to rely on “general rules and thereby bias our perceptions” etc.
          Indeed science is “suppose to advance…the truth” by “continually looking for the exceptions.” IMO and experience academically and IRL, in our society we view males as “Human *DOINGS*” rather than Human BEINGS and as a result, the tactics of female Predators often are not only presented as “exceptions” but are grossly under-reprepresented in research studies and outcomes. We view females as “Acted Upon” and males as “Actors.” Not only do we “diagnose women differently than men even when they present with the *EXACT SAME SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS*” the reality is, it appears we are loathe to do so.
          To our detriment-in every possible way, particularly IRL. It is (beyond) time the Mental Health Community honestly acknowledged their limitations and cultural bias. If we wish to be perceived as legitimate, we need to BE “Legitimate.”
          The result is a highly biased view of what it means to be human and the very real conceptualization and operationalization of research with not at all surprising results that include Confirmation Bias inherent in cultural “givens.”
          Again, thank you for your caution to “re-think and modify their positions.”
          Yes, it does appear this reality has been “abandoned” by the allegedly “best scientists” or perhaps more succinctly, by those who refuse to do the introspection necessary to examine their own frailties, failings, vulnerabilities and cultural biases before undertaking research.
          Wise is the individual that knows their limitations indeed. The world of academia and “Publish or Perish” does not allow those of us who have eschewed the Ivory Tower to be heard or to challenge the prevailing cultural myths.
          Thanks again. You give me hope that the “Mental Health Community” will engage in some IMO necessary rigorous self-examination.

      2. Dr. Simon, that was an incredible “chime in”! So well worded and thought out. Amazingly well measured as well. And me too Danny, I read the part about “the overall effects of a repressive world scene, as opposed to more permissive/entitled times” and found that very interesting, a perspective I had never considered before in MANY ways.
        I see a certain “pendulum” aspect to all of this now, not sure what to do with it though!
        Anyhow, thank you Dr. Simon for your objective and educated input.

      3. Danny, I think a small part of the problem is that both Lisa and I have been abused by pathological game playing intentionally sadistic manipulators. I’m not sure that these type fit into the general paradigm you are describing……when you find out it was a ruse from the get go and they knew it from the get go, that they lied through their teeth from the get go, just to perpetuate a game,,,,,just to take you down??
        A lot of disordered people become involved with someone romantically and by way of either a personality or character disorder can’t hold up their end of the relationship or preform in a healthy way within the relationship. But I truly believe that the greater majority of the type of person I was unfortunate enough to get tangled up with are men and they are men with SOME kind of mother issue that has produced a misogynistic Spathtard. it’s the early, conscious, intentional, falseness…..they know exactly what they are doing and why, and also what the eventual outcome will be because they have done it their whole lives.

        1. Yes, fair point Puddle…..and acknowledged. In many ways this exchange has given me clarity but in other respects I’m more confused than ever. Either way, I understand that manipulation has a range of manifestations due to all manner of different reasons, which can in turn affect the targeted individual or individuals in many different ways. However the bizarre thing is that I can personally fully identify with your closing statement, which I have lived and experienced the feeling 100% “….it’s the early, conscious, intentional, falseness…..they know exactly what they are doing and why, and also what the eventual outcome will be because they have done it their whole lives”. I wish you well 🙂

          1. Danny,,,,,,,
            “Yes, fair point Puddle…..and acknowledged. In many ways this exchange has given me clarity but in other respects I’m more confused than ever.”
            Me too!! 😉

          2. I wish you well as well Danny! 🙂
            It is difficult and a bit frustrating to not have personal knowledge of what you have been through. I think quite often,,,,,,,Ahhhgh! I wish I could just sit down with these people for a good question and answer session or actually spend a day in their shoes so I could understand them and their stories better and they could understand mine better!
            So, please know that I am in certain situations and on certain topics, debating the notions and beliefs,,,,,,,not YOU Danny. I really find it SO interesting that human beings can be so much alike and so different, even radically different. What IS that? It’s all fascinating and I want to understand it!

    2. Danny and LisaO and Dr Simon, reading these posts reminds me of some ideas I have had in the past. By virtue of our biology women are the ‘weaker’ sex. Men’s size, bone density, muscle mass etc are just more suited to dominating women and hence they have tended to rule the world. Add to this the fact they have tended to fight each other for territory and women, we women have been pretty much at their mercy for a very long time. It’s largely, although slowly changing, a man’s world. For any woman to gain a position of power she faces a David and Goliath challenge. She would have to think very carefully about what a man’s weaknesses are and then effectively target him with the most effective ‘weapons’ she possesses in his most vulnerable spot. What is the power men possess in society, that perhaps she wants? Money, territory, influence, status.. among others. How does she obtain this? She uses man’s greatest weakness against, his need for status and his desire to be a father in some cases. Her greatest assets and covert weapons against him are her sexuality and her eggs. There are no doubt countless women out there that have covertly taken these things from men, used them for their own needs to be fulfilled, taken their money, territory, children and status without working for them. Used their weaknesses against them and left them hurt, angry, bitter, misogynists and very wary of the next one that comes along. Is this where we see or rather don’t see the many many cases of female covert aggression and sometimes psychopathy, all over the world. Post feminism has allowed women to feel entitled to this..but are they really?

      1. Hi Juliette. Yes, an very useful contribution to the exchange. I consider this a useful example of the kind of thing I was driving at when I said upthread “…..My view is that manipulation covers a range of behaviours, which are effectively played out in different ways dependant on all manner of different situations and in addition, of course, whether male or female being the perpetrator of said negative behaviours…..”. I could have made my point better, in the way you have but, in other words, men use the tools at their disposal to manipulate, I.e. power, prestige, prominence, wealth, etc……whilst women will also use tools at their disposal, I.e. sex, their being considered the weaker ‘vessel’ (sometimes anything but), social status, wealth, etc.

        1. Danny, I also think this: When you use the word “use”,
          ” men use the tools at their disposal to manipulate, I.e. power, prestige, prominence, wealth, etc……whilst women will also use tools at their disposal, I.e. sex, their being considered the weaker ‘vessel’ (sometimes anything but), social status, wealth, etc.”

          So what if you just HAVE those things?? These “”tools”” that a woman can have can very well work to her detriment. again,it’s the intention. I don’t “USE” any of my attributes no matter how superficial or much substance they might be judged to have. So in order to not get used for or get accused of using these attributes, would I go out in public with a bag over my head, dressed in rags, with just a dime in my pocket? Should I refuse to make a joke or laugh at someone else’s? It’s so confusing to me.

          1. I still think that women by their very nature are at a disadvantage because of their biological instincts and capability to bond and that men most definitely have an urge, drive, whatever to get laid.

          2. I’m not sure I fully follow your point Puddle, please forgive me if I haven’t, but would say I am very definitely talking about ones intention. I think the benefit of time allows one to better or properly determine the true intention of others.
            To point to my own personal circumstance, my wife has used her perceived ‘helplessness’, her femininity, etc as a tool to manipulate me and others into thinking one thing while her subsequent actions and behaviours has suggested the complete opposite. That, to my mind IS manipulation and it IS intentional. I’m yet to be convinced it is biological or down to just lashing out because she feels frustrated. It is targeted emotionally abusive behaviour. Furthermore, if, for example, there is a sustained pattern of behaving abusively only to a select few people behind closed doors, repeatedly lying, violence, damaging property, repeated denial, intimidation, guilt tripping, gaslighting….etc etc, whether male (or in my case female), the individual doing the manipulation is personally responsible and should be held 100% accountable.

          3. Oh Danny….., I’m sorry. I probably didn’t make my point very well. It’s all starting to just spin around in my head. I wish I could just talk to you!!!! First of all this format is a nightmare for me! Too many stories and points and comments. I really think I just get it all too mixed together. Im not in my element in written expression and understanding. For me it’s like trying to imagine a sunset in black and white. And sometimes I think that because of the limitations inherent in this format we are all trying to describe and understand things that we have a limited ability to be able to describe and understand. Maybe not for everyone but I definitely feel hindered personally and the more complex the subject is, the more I see that to be true for me.
            Also, when talking about certain things, I don’t feel comfortable disclosing some information and I would almost HAVE to in order to MAKE my point clearer.
            SO,,,,,,,I will think about this for a bit, the word intention, your wife’s that is.
            I know you are over seas but if you feel like a chat, I’m open to that through Dr. Simon.
            I’m really feeling like I am making comments that are not clear and inadvertently offensive to you.

          4. I see no reason for you to apologise Puddle. And I take no offence whatsoever from any of your comments. Yes I agree, being limited to only the medium of the written word….does inhibit conversation somewhat.

      2. ” Post feminism has allowed women to feel entitled to this..but are they really?”
        Of course not! There is no excuse in the world for TAKING anything from ANYONE, overtly or covertly. I could walk up to an 85 year old man on the street, overpower him and steal his money. He inherent weakness is that he has outlived his physical prime and can not defend himself. Or (as happened to my mother :(…….I could be a caregiver of a person with dementia and not even steal anything from them but accept all kinds of gifts in an inappropriate professional role and “lead” them into the offers……”Oh, I just love this and that”! “Well, would you like to have it”?

  16. Juliette, butting in here……a man does not HAVE to have sex and a man does not HAVE to have children so I’m not so sure that I would call those two desires an inherent weakness to be exploited.

    1. Puddle, I get what you mean and I agree, I was pointing out that these are some vulnerable spots a female CA can use against an innocent man who does have these desires and exploit them as weaknesses. And there is no excuse for misogyny, even if a guy has been chewed up by a CA, Danny is a great example of this, he still knows that there are good women in the world and is even reaching out to them on here. Many men use these types of experiences as an excuse for hating women, quite often they were left and abandoned for being misogynists in the first place.

      1. Yes, I see Juliette and this is a great line………” Many men use these types of experiences as an excuse for hating women, quite often they were left and abandoned for being misogynists in the first place.” Amen Sistah!
        I also believe Spathtards create the exact conditions in a “”relationship”” with a woman that turn her into a woman they can unabashedly hate, abuse and kick to the curb in a way they will never be able to do with mommy.

      2. Not to mention we need balanced discourse Juliette. I personally don’t think this would be a great website for exchanges on the issue of manipulation if every contributor was female!? Too, there are lots of lovely wonderful people in this world, both men and women, and I don’t want to approach what is left of my life through vexed, bitter, hate-filled lens……due only to my personal experience. That is a dark space I simply do not want to inhabit.

        1. I don’t want that to happen here Danny. It’s tricky though!! Like I said, very hard to really GET where and what you are coming from or have experienced, not being you or being able to sit down and speak face to face with clarifying questions and answers. We all come into a situation, any exchange really, with our own experience based perspectives in tow.

        2. I agree Danny and Puddle, it’s great to have a male’s point of view on here and a good thing for us women to be reminded that although it is less heard of, that abused men are out there and suffer in ways we can only imagine and that are a whole different set of circumstances for them to negotiate. Good for you Danny, to maintain your life affirming spirit. We salute you. 🙂

        3. Danny, I just want to say that my comments are in the context of my experience as a woman. I don’t know how to speak any other way because my abuser was a “man”. Now that this subject is being discussed, I read MY comments and try to substitute the genders and I see where you are coming from. It’s confusing……something in me believes that there is a gender difference in some way that I don’t know if I can put into words exactly or even understand clearly. It’s all whirling around in my head and I feel like it needs written down in lists and sub lists and untangled like a ball of yarn. There are just so many aspects to it all. Anyhow, I hope I haven’t offended you in my female perspective.
          Another thing that I don’t think helps me understand the male view of this is that I couldn’t even begin to count how many times I’ve heard MEN say,,,”Men are pigs” or “men are dogs”. It’s things like this that really undermine my ability to think men are all that vulnerable, present company excluded.

          1. Puddle, I’ve tried to wrap my head around what it must feel like for a man to be abused by a woman and it’s just so hard because there is the whole thing of being a man in this man’s world to deal with, on top of just being hurt. The closest I can come to appreciating the dynamics and I’m sure it’s still not entirely accurate, is being manipulated and abused by your 12 year old son. You know you can over-power him if you had to but it’s very difficult to deal with especially when you love them so much. I’ve seen women have to deal with that very thing. So many men must suffer in silence too and pretend everything is fine, when it’s not. Danny is probably a rare exception in being so honest about his situation. I believe it’s alot more common than we are generally aware of as a society.

          2. very true Juliette and it’s also very subjective. I can not pretend to understand a situation that I have never experienced, this Spathcapade has taught me that. What constitutes abuse? It can be very subjective. I KNOW FOR A FACT that Spathtard would NEVER admit the truth about what happened between us. Never. And I’m sure some of his twisted rational comes from his twisted views and values and refusal to admit or even see how he created the very conditions that led to my behaviors I was judged so erroneously for.
            He’s a sick man, no doubt. I have taken this to so many people, described in detail….my behaviors, his behaviors and track record………the jury is in. In the final analysis i was the one who didn’t want what ended up being true to be true. I tried my best to believe him and was berated by him for having any doubts at all………..only to find out that I had every reason to doubt him.
            So, in the realm of behaviors, to go back to something you said earlier……..there are REACTIONARY behavior in the victim from being abused and manipulated, even if the victim doesn’t consciously realize they are being abused and manipulated. The trauma counselor I’m working with now has repeatedly pointed this out to me because I STILL tend to take on blame.

          3. Juliette, My father was a “suffer in silence” type. My opinion of that notion is…….if someone is “suffering” and not saying anything then they are probably not really suffering as in they are getting something from the situation too and afraid that is if they speak up honestly they will loose that. So picture a Spathtard who will cry the blues about how unfair his relationship is to his friends and family, yet not address the issues with his mate because in reality the situation is not as black and white as he paints it to be. I’m sure Spathtardx spun quite a story to mommy so that she would continue to think his highness was all that and a bag of chips. They lie and then they lie about the lie they used to cover up the lie. People of the lie.

          4. Well, I can tell you that, speaking generally, society expects me to dust myself down and get on with it. I am expected to just ignore the continual taunting, ridicule, intimidation, gaslighting, lying and other forms of verbal abuse. I can tell you that the kinds of manipulative behaviour from a woman is far more likely to be dismissed as anything but whereas if it is from a man, it is commonly assumed to be a far more serious matter. I can tell I am often told to try to be a bit more ‘understanding’ because she was probably just in a bad mood “…..she’s always been a bit of a fiery character”. So the focus will so often move away from my wife taking responsibility for her behaviour, to ME taking responsibility for her behaviour. Worse still, sometimes I been held directly accountable for her behaviour.
            That was all until I grew wise to her behaviour.

          5. Danny, Your words are not wasted on me, please know that. I understand that you have been dealing with a handful and been unfairly treated. I will say that the counterpart to what you are saying about society dismissing certain behaviors because they are coming from a woman is societies attitudes towards men’s less than helpful to a relationship behaviors. Men just tend to not be good at talking about problems, men are visual creatures so it’s natural for them to look…… men are supposed to be the dominant one in the relationship…..A man is a MAN,,,,,Just the attitude about men and sex is a perfect example of an unfair societal bias. Men are basically given a free pass if they “screw around” But if a woman does, she is a slut. I’m not talking about in a relationship, whole different story there but there are biases for both sexes, no?
            See? There are just two sides to this whole mess!
            My father was “suffering in silence” and that was his choice and to retaliate against my mother’s critical and controlling ways yet retain being taken care of by a mother figure, he shut her off sexually and emotionally rather than to treat her as an equal, step up and take a stand as a man for himself and the relationship which COULD have turned the boat in a different direction. I think I resented him actually, as a child for not putting his foot down and allowing her to run all over all of us. She was out of control controlling! Do this, don’t do that, wear this, don’t wear than, I couldn’t even begin to describe the nightmare I lived through with that woman and my father did N O T H I N G! It was up to me to put my foot down to the best of my ability as a child and then mostly as a teenager, to try to retain my own individuality. Of course it wasn’t pretty and i didn’t do it very tactfully but her expectations were SO over the top and off base….OMG! just a sad situation right across the board.

          6. Danny, the kind of manipulation and abuse I’m talking about doesn’t get a free pass period. As Dr. Simon says, we are all manipulative to a certain degree…….that is what confuses me. at what point is it pathological? Was I being manipulative when I broke it off with spathtard because I was so wrung out? I know i didn’t want to break it off but at that point I just didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t understand what he was doing. I prompted recontact because I DIDN’T want to break it off. It all seemed so crazy, i just could not conceive that in light of all the things he said he felt about me and how I knew I felt about him, that we could just walk away from it like nothing mattered,it did matter very much to me. SO was I being manipulative? I didn’t sit here in the afternoon and say to myself,,,,,,OK, I know what I can do! I’ll break it off to make him sorry and blah blah blah…….I told him I loved him and I just couldn’t do this anymore. He stood up and said OK and gathered his things and left. That was just one of the times we broke up. I get tears now just typing that this long after the fact.
            Danny, I’d like to ask you honest opinion about something and I’ve been meaning to ask you for a while now….
            1). If you were in an exclusive relationship with someone, one where the “I love you’s” and “this is forever’s” were being used, and money or the lack there of was a constant issue on the table,,,,,,,,,,,and you were in bankruptcy and also paying down back taxes, do you think that is something that should be shared with your partner? Like do you think they have the right to know? I don’t mean just dating someone casually…..I mean the two of you are living together.
            2) how much honesty do you think is appropriate in the same scenario…..let’s say sexual “interests”…….like if you are into something your partner might not approve of. do you think it’s the right thing to do to tell them who you are in other words.
            3) let’s say you are D O N E with a relationship. You know you are D O N E…….do you think it is appropriate to continue to use terms of endearment, phrases that perpetuate hope and continued interest in the other person? Yet basically ACT in ways that tell the other person that you couldn’t give a crap about them until maybe THEY get tired of it and leave? I wish you could read some of the emails I have from him saying and eluding to all kinds of things that someone who is D O N E wouldn’t say It was such a mind f. Just sick. I still can’t totally “get it” in spite of the validation I’ve received from oh so many people.
            And you know what his final trump card was?? To feign that “You have no idea how much you scared me” over some rediculous joke of a statement I made JOKINGLY when he flipped out because he found a gun in my bed. He made the biggest, over the top, ridiculous deal out of something that was SO not a big deal! And when I finally called him on it and told him I was sick of hearing about it and if he was THAT afraid of me then we shouldn’t even be seeing each other and that he was being ridiculous,,,,,he replied….” well for all I know you were going to shoot me”! So I jokingly reply, “Oh Spathtard, I would never shoot you, I’d have someone else do it”!
            So THIS is, a year and a half before we actually broke up for good and in the death throw email/ phone calls after words he drops that on me as if to say, indirectly without saying it, the only reason I have been with you for a year and a half is because you said you would have me killed (yes,,,that is what he turned my joke into…. That I said I would have him killed). And THAT is why I am now concerned for my safety because one of the things these social retards do is accuse YOU of what THEY are guilty of them selves!
            Opinion? LOL!

          7. Hi Puddle. There is a lot in your messages. To answer your questions re your ex – look, I have no desire to in any way support his treatment towards you, which is frankly shocking. YES you should know, YES he should be honest and YES he is playing with fire in sending emails of the kind you describe. I am desperately sorry that you ever met someone seemingly so inept in pretty well ALL of his dealings with you as well as everyone and anyone else he has come into contact with. The key point I want to make is that I hope I have not upset you. This website is a great space and I’m thankful to DrSimon and all the fine contributors resulting in the pool of knowledge I have amassed so far (I’m still learning) about manipulation. I share my experiences honestly, hoping that it might in a small way help in us all gaining a bit more enlightenment and understanding of something/a character inclination that I feel is so utterly destructive. We deserve dignity, we deserve the convictions of our opinions, we deserve some control over our own lives, our own decision making, we deserve to be treated with respect. And speaking personally, I will not stop until I achieve all of that little lot 🙂

          8. Thanks Danny. I just asked you these things because I did want your perspective as a male,,,,,,not to belabor any of my points about male vs female manipulators. I was made to think that I was SO off base in wanting to be treated like a human being and it really did a number on my head, especially at the time.
            “you don’t need to know everything about my past, it’s private,,,,like I’m not going to tell you about every time I was arrested…..” me: EVERYTIME?? Like for what?? Him: “I had a couple of DUIs, big deal…’ve had a couple!” me: Anything else??…….Him: Well ex called the cops on me once, no big deal, it was all over blown and it got reduced”.
            Well the reason it got reduced is because it was his first offence and you are allowed to go through a program. I’m SURE I would be blown away if I knew the truth about him….his sister…..his mommy……I’m SURE!
            Thanks Danny 🙂

  17. There’s so much discussion here that I better bring out a point where I started from before sidetracking myself to other thoughts.

    If certain myths and ideas have been the basis for theories of neurosis, aren’t there any that would reflect the lowest of humanity, savagery, vileness, pettiness, moral failures and so on? If spirit of times has reflected conscentiousness at certain time period and lack of sufficient moral discipline at others, aren’t there myths that reflect character disturbance?

    1. J, I looked these up on the Wiki..Apollo had a bad side where he could be cruel and destructive. Ares was depicted as moody and unreliable and portrayed the chaotic side of war. Dionysus portrayed madness, chaos, drugs, drunkenness. Erebos god of darkness and shadow. The other myths I can think of come more from modern times like the Grimms Fairy Tales. Like Hansel and Gretel who’s parents left them in the woods, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. The wicked CA stepmother archetype of Cinderella and her poor unsuspecting, grieving Father. Snow White and her vain Queen who disguises herself to poison her. Rapunzel and Rumplestiltskin the mean little small man syndrome, Elf who pretended to be helping her then stole her baby. The two little pigs who were traumatized for their laziness by the, CA Wolf and all eventually escaped into the house of the wise brother who built his house from bricks. The Fox who lures the innocent across the river on his back only to eat him. The boy who cried wolf.

      1. Nice job Juliette!! Whoop Whoop!!
        Maybe it’s not a matter of not enough myths, fairy tails, etc……it’s a matter of too many. Maybe it teaches us to think this kind of thing only happens in fairy tails, myths, movies, books, etc…….

        1. Yeah!!, I’ve been a victim of too many Beauty and the Beast…handsome prince, girl suffers but wins in the end, lives happily ever after… myths too! I found this too

          Its the place in Greek Mythology where bad characters were sent to suffer and lists many of its inhabitants.

  18. Puddle, I’d like to give you some of my experience that may validate some of your own doubts at present. BB didn’t tell me lots of things about himself before I took the plunge with him. Many of these would have been deal-breakers. Things I discovered once I was already emotionally invested and committed. Drug use, sexual problems, prior high grade violence towards a woman, huge financial problems and 30K tax debt, gambling problems. Yes, he should have disclosed all these things whilst I was making my mind up about him. I told him everything about my past when he was grooming me, whilst he listened intently to all the cues on how to manipulate me. He was trying to work out why I didn’t want a boyfriend and kept pumping me for all the information he needed for almost a year. Yes it was completely manipulative and absolutely wrong of him to not allow me the benefit of making my mind up about these things in advance of deciding to go to the next stage of having a committed relationship with him. He then went about lying and minimizing each one as I discovered it and made lip service or minimally and outwardly apparent efforts, to address each one as time went by. Of course all this required the committed and passionate effort of me too. Isn’t that what partners are supposed to do? Oh Yeah that’s right, committed partners are in for the good with the bad. Oh, I must be a jerk if I don’t stand by all these weaknesses of his and put a monumental effort in alongside him..Our relationship became all about making BB a better person, my needs got left by the wayside in favour of this new, better, stronger man that’s supposedly benefitted from this relationship. Yes he is a somewhat better man, in a much better place than when we met but at a huge expense to me. Somewhat.. being the operative word. The big lightbulb moment came eventually alongside all the other subtle ones that confused me as to whether he is really trying at all or just keeping the game going to keep me here. I’m just an object to him that he refuses to let go of. Now that I know he is a liar, I don’t even believe him when he compliments me. There comes a time when they realize that they are just not capable of keeping up with the game they have created in the first place. Remember that underneath everything and above all else, they are lazy. I’m hearing BB get ready to give up all the time, I just had a txt then…’You deserve better than me darling”. This is the same man who not long ago threatened to kill himself when I wanted to separate and shoved insurance papers in my face to sign so that I would get a payola when he ‘died’. (Which I refused to). I’m sure that when it does eventually happen, despite the fact that he knows exactly what caused it, he will tell himself and everyone else that I was crazy and that all those men in my past were the ones who destroyed his relationship, because my ‘trust’ issues just stopped us being close. Not at all..He was the one who was untrustworthy, I was the one who after 12 years being single decided to trust again after one year of platonic friendship. He is responsible for what he did to both of us…And if he broke me down, sent me crazy in the process and is paranoid or scared of what I’ll do to him if he pushes me too far over the edge or is scared I will call my guardian angel to protect me from him, then so be it, he should have picked a weaker victim to begin with. You don’t have to fear him Puddle, you keep that gun where you can get a good nights sleep if that’s what you need to do. All those ideas he planted in your head are just that. Crap, BS manipulation, mind games. He is the one who is paranoid, not you.

    1. I think that as soon as j figured out he was a liar and manipulator, that’s when the abuse began in full swing. There was no need for him to even pretend to be nice, because the façade had been discovered. I think part of him would like to move on, but that would mean someone else could have me (and he owns me, so there’s no way he will let THAT happen), and I think part of him sees leaving me as a liability. I know too much, and I’m still here, so why not keep someone who’s willing to put up with the crap and he doesn’t need to invest the energy of pretending to be an awesome guy?

  19. Julliette this says so much… “There comes a time when they realize that they are just not capable of keeping up with the game they have created in the first place.” I read this comment and think it could be taken out of mine too. You do get to a point when you don’t believe their compliments…gosh everyday to the point when you just know it’s all BS and then they get annoyed because they know you’re starting to see through it. And that making them a better person… my ex had nothing…worked in a good job with high pay and at the end of the week he would borrow money from his mother who was on a pension or me who was a low paid waitress at the time. He was useless with money. An absolute bogan of a man really (I say that now and can’t believe I ever ever wanted to be with him). So all I did was stitch him up into respectability with my family. It gave him something to brag about and then systematically he went about tearing that down bit by bit. Right now I feel sometimes that he’s succeeded. I am on the last hurdle…the very last and left with nearly zilch.
    Nothing mattered to him NOTHING!! It’s left a blur in my brain, my heart and soul that just won’t clear.

    1. Hi Tori……((Hugs to you))……..I can SO relate……again…..
      BTW, Spathtard had at LEAST one debt that was being withdrawn from his bank account. I of course knew nothing about that and could never understand WHY he had almost no money yet worked a full time job with decent pay, lived at his mommys for free, and I mean FREE,,,,,,no utilities, little to no food costs, etc,,,,,etc…..etc,,,,,,,,
      I have a feeling there was more. The only money he seems to be able to account for was his cigarettes and the money he sent to his daughter every month (which he played for all it was worth because he cared so much about her and wanted to see her through her schooling, blah blah blah……..Probably more to THAT story as well).
      Yeah, I believe N O T H I N G that EVER came out of his mouth. Everything is expendable……..
      Pink Floyd…….Sums it up so well. and to think that was the music we listened to the first night we met!! So prophetic…….

      Dogs (Waters, Gilmour) 17:06

      You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need.
      You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you’re on the street,
      You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.
      And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight,
      You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking.

      And after a while, you can work on points for style.
      Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,
      A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.
      You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
      So that when they turn their backs on you,
      You’ll get the chance to put the knife in.

      You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder.
      You know it’s going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you
      get older.
      And in the end you’ll pack up and fly down south,
      Hide your head in the sand,
      Just another sad old man,
      All alone and dying of cancer.

      And when you loose control, you’ll reap the harvest you have sown.
      And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone.
      And it’s too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw
      So have a good drown, as you go down, all alone,
      Dragged down by the stone.

      I gotta admit that I’m a little bit confused.
      Sometimes it seems to me as if I’m just being used.
      Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise.
      If I don’t stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this

      Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending
      That everyone’s expendable and no-one has a real friend.
      And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner
      And everything’s done under the sun,
      And you believe at heart, everyone’s a killer.

      Who was born in a house full of pain.
      Who was trained not to spit in the fan.
      Who was told what to do by the man.
      Who was broken by trained personnel.
      Who was fitted with collar and chain.
      Who was given a pat on the back.
      Who was breaking away from the pack.
      Who was only a stranger at home.
      Who was ground down in the end.
      Who was found dead on the phone.
      Who was dragged down by the stone.

      1. Woah Puddle, I’ve never heard that one! So powerful, like ‘too late to lose the weight you used to throw around’. I love Pink Floyd too.

      2. Yeah whoa…who’d have thought all that at the beginning. That’s quite a verse and a half. Not sure I’ve heard that one either. Thanks Puddle and hugs all round. 🙂

        1. Isn’t amazing?? AND, the whole album The Wall……just SO on target according to which interpretation you read.

          1. I don’t even know what the show is called, just that it is on ABC in the US at 10pm eastern time. The transcripts might be on line and if I find any info I will post it.

  20. Of course then there’s the time when they appear to try and change their ways…never lasts of course but you’re expected to compliment them every day because “look I’ve been so good.” Yeah and the minute you do acknowledge their progress then they start up their rubbish again. You know when I think of the edge I lived on just waiting for the whole shebang to come crashing down…over a decade of this crazy stuff. I was always waiting for a police call, a catastrophe of some sort to wipe away the whole thing. Where I am now was where I was always going to end up and frankly I am lucky to still be above ground. Sorry to be raving had a rather stressful week… 🙂

    1. Tori, I think this is the last place you ever need to apologize for venting. Ten years is such a long time to miss yourself too. Thank goodness you are warm and vertical, yes. I’ve been thinking about what you said about how on earth did I ever see anything in him. We all seem to say that. It makes me think that despite what it may appear, that by having our worth treated so badly by someone, it reminds us of how not true that is. I feel exactly the same. How on earth did I shortchange myself so badly. I would never go for someone like him now. So my self esteem must have been forced upward somehow in all this. It’s bizarre because I don’t feel like that at present but when I think of it that way, I can see it has? What the? Family Court and the aftermath seems like a terrible dark road ahead and sometimes it is but what these CA abusive people forget is that there is another 60 years after childhood. Years where you get to have an adult relationship with your children. They are the really enjoyable ones. My four kids went through Hell and then Hell again. They really did turn out okay because I hung in there with them, through thick and thin. One of them was even abducted for three years from 5-8yo. That was the worst. He is 18 now and a beautiful young man who is nothing like his Father. They are their own worst enemy in the end. Keep on being you, he can never break your spirit if you keep the bigger picture in mind. Big warm Hug,,, strong woman. (((O)))

      1. Big hug back at ya Juliette! The strong woman took a little tumble this week but she’s still there. I don’t know how you coped with the abduction that’s shocking thing to go through. I don’t know how I’d cope. I remember one night my ex was very drunk and because I’d said something that made him mad he took my son who wasn’t quite two and drove him across to the other side of the city. I was terrified that night.
        I’d almost forgotten about that one…just another in the many crazy making games he played.
        At this stage I couldn’t imagine myself with anyone again. I know there’s nice kind men out there but right now all I want is to be single. It’s safer I think! 🙂

        1. Tori, terror is the word. Sorry that my story brought that memory back. Its so, I’m trying to find the right word here but none of them describe it, weird..bizarre..strange..relevant..I don’t know what the word is…that so many of these guys do the same things, have the same patterns of relating and abusing. It’s got to be a recognizable disorder that should be in the psychological diagnostic criteria measured by the same behaviours. The PPD ex that abducted my son tried to do the same thing when he was around 1. Drove the car to where I was at a linen party, stumbled in the door drunk as a skunk and attempted to get past me into the hallway where bub was sleeping, in one of my friend’s bedrooms. I was bruised all over the arms from wrestling with him. My friend had to call the police who were totally inept and sent him home (300m away!) on foot, the idiots, instead of arresting him and locking him up for such dangerous behaviour. When they lectured him about how irresponsible his behaviour was saying he could have killed his son etc, his reply was ‘Oh well that would be good, then I wouldn’t have all these problems’, they still let him go! If that happened in the US, he would have been locked up on the spot! I decided to tell you about the abduction because I think it’s nearly the worst case scenario, nearly, and perhaps it might give you some strength to know that you too can survive this crap, like we did..and that as long you manage to survive intact, you will thrive again one day when all is said and done. Yep, single is a good place to be. 🙂

      2. How you went for them is because you were manipulated into believing they were something they are not. And there is a spell that they cast and mind control and physical, emotional bonding……Please don’t look back now in a way that makes it sound like you should have know better. You didn’t know then plain and simple. to me, the fact that you can look at these losers not and say,,,,,”I never would go for someone like that” speaks directly to what I’m saying…..mind control, manipulation, “spells”. Spathtard made me feel like he loved me more than life it’s self and then continuously jerked the rug out from under me. it was a declaration of love that seemed so real, more real then anything I have ever felt because it was CONSTANTLY declared. Morning, noon and night. He even made a point of calling me EVERY day at lunch to tell me he loved me…..I’ve never had a man do that. Well,,,,,,he was reinforcing the lie, over and over and over and at the same time letting me know that I was going to be “just somebody that he used to know”. I just didn’t get it. I couldn’t not believe him every time he said that he really meant it this time, that he was in it 100% with all his cards on the table or a host of other crap he spoon fed my love hungry little brain…..

        1. “to me, the fact that you can look at these losers NOW and say,,,,,”I never would go for someone like that” speaks directly to what I’m saying…..mind control,

        2. Yeah Puddle, it is like a spell or brainwashing. When someone calls you during the day we think, ‘Oh how caring’, when quite likely they were just checking up, consuming our time with the thought of them. BB txts and calls me up to 20 times a day, 10 on a quiet one. They say ‘I love you’ to force you to say it back, when they know you are hurting too. Forcing you to be on the spot and come clean on your emotions or bury them all the same. That’s why I got so much from reading the book, ‘But He Says He Loves Me’. One of the manipulation tactics it advises the up and coming manipulator to do is, ‘get her to do something she doesn’t want to, particularly where sex is concerned this can be a very powerful force to mould your woman into the woman you know is good for you and that she needs to be for her own good, but any old thing will do, as long as you know she doesn’t want to do it.’

          1. !!!!!!!OH MY GOSH Juliette!!!!! This is exactly what he did in the beginning! I will NOT go into details because it was SO off the wall. Actually I didn’t even understand what he was asking but went “along” with it for a while. I finally told him I was uncomfortable with it. His response? Well I wouldn’t want you to do anything you don’t want to do………
            Unreal! What an A**hat!

          2. I’m telling you this “thing” he wanted me to do has generated more WTF looks from people I’ve told about it, Looks and a blank….”what”? From men AND women. I didn’t tell anyone for a very long time and then I did and the jury is in……”what”? Honestly, and it makes me laugh now……..kind of……, I really didn’t get it!! “So……Spathtard…..?????when you ask me to not do…..blank……does that mean you want me to do blank? Or you don’t want me to do blank”? It’s a jaw dropper as well as a couple other peculiar things. I’d bet money that he has been with a dom and God only knows what else….animal, vegetable, mineral……

          3. and I’m probably damned lucky to have come out of this without anthrax or a host of other spatholeistic diseases!

          4. Juliette, you should read this review on Amazon!!

            6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
            3.0 out of 5 stars overprotective?, October 24, 2008
            By Irena Jakobsdatter (Norway, Europe) – See all my reviews
            This review is from: But He Says He Loves Me: How to Avoid Being Trapped in a Manipulative Relationship (Paperback)


          5. Oh wow, you know it’s those calls during the day that I miss the most. I would never have thought it manipulation… I thought like you Puddle, how caring he must really love me. He was insistent that we say “I love you” at the end of each call. Of course there were many times I could not say I love you…because if you don’t feel it at the time because of some chaotic episode then you can’t say it and mean it. Also his “I love you’s” often sounded like a question I had to answer. I actually said that to him once. I thought that odd. Love is love, if you love someone then it comes naturally… even in times of distress I struggled because I felt a really deep love for him. Oh and that sex thing can relate too! How closely do our stories match…it’s almost like there is a breed of people out there that are…oh I don’t know but just a species all their own. Don’t worry about bringing memories back Juliette, in some ways it’s good… as there is so much that you bury deep down inside and I think those bad ones are important to keep me solid on my track that takes me as far away from him as I can get! Gosh it’d be lovely to share a coffee with you guys… 🙂

          6. Tori, I know….I wish we could all just sit and chat…..It would be a case of mass verbal diarrhea and “me too’s”!!!!

          7. yeah,,,,I’m in two pages of the book and I’m already about to hyperventilate! “If you act tentative or soft, the women in your life will THINK that they can dominate YOU”.
            OK…….I actually DREAM of having a man who has the stones to “lead” me in a relationship! And I don’t mean subjugate me but to be a MAN, take the lead, make things happen. My ex BF was like this and I LOVED it! We didn’t work out though because of life style differences but he MADE it happen, in more ways than one………….if you know what I mean! I felt so safe around him too…..just relaxed….he dug me and I dug him. It just wasn’t meant to be, still friends though!

          8. Mmm, I read the review. I read the book in the middle stages of my relationship with BB and found it very helpful in looking at certain tactics and attitudes however, because BB is so covert in his abuse it didn’t give me any of the light-bulb moments that Dr Simon’s insights did. It’s a very confronting book to read because you do feel at times inside the mind of an evil man who objectifies women. There are some great insights in there like I was saying earlier, where you go… OMG! thats exactly what happened to me. The part where you say ‘don’t be soft or your woman will want to dominate you’, probably should be read in the context of the whole book, because I seem to remember it saying that women are weak and want to be led and need to be, for their own good, too. It gives an explanation of how to overcome the various types of women too. Those already primed and those that are ‘the challenge’.

          9. Puddle, I’m getting a feel of this thing, among others, he did to you and its not pretty. I can understand a bit better now, how much anger you have for him and what he has left under your skin. Wanting to be ‘led’ by a man is a very natural and normal thing that most women have, not all but most. We are biologically primed for it and it is one of the main dynamics at play in abusive relationships. If you think about sex, its the one place where we can’t hide from who we truly are, more so for men, than women too because it’s easier for a women to be receiving and not really participating as much, if you get what I mean. I would love to write a book, like the Secret Garden, of women’s sexual experiences with abusers. I’ve heard alot of stories like yours sound in my time and they all have a common thread of wanting to be dominated and quite often humiliated as well as these men having strong urges to do things that render the woman powerless or hurt her. They all can also be the sensitive caring lover too but once you progress into a more trusting relationship, out comes the themes of domination and subjugation. Hitler was like that too, he used to get Eva Braun to put him in a dog collar and chain and kick him really hard and shout abuse at him whilst he was on all fours on the floor. She hated it. I learned this from excerpts of interviews with her in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness by Erich Fromm.

          10. Yeah Juliette……I went from the ex BF I spoke of to Spathtard from one extreem to the other. I’m not saying exBF was perfect by any means,,,,,just that he was a take charge kind of guy, a self made man VERY successful doing what he had a passion for. In many ways I respected him a lot. Came from nothing and worked his a** off doing what he loved and really made a name and career for himself. Spathtard?? N O T H I N G! just a mommas boy parasitic loser. He justifies living in Mommys basement by saying…..he had a hand in the building of the place and he will not feel bad for living in something he created!! OMG! I’ll bet he did have a hand it it but not in his pocket, as in he didn’t pay one red cent towards the building if that house! Thats like saying that every house you worked on as a carpenter, you have a right to live there for free. What an A**HAT.
            So the Donna Anderson thing was disappointing because she really was only a small part of the show but at LEAST she got some exposure and they did show the “love” thing below her name.

          11. Lol on the basement, a lie/facade no doubt and an indication that he feels it’s a bad impression for him to be in Mummy’s basement to other men most likely, ones who make their own way in the world. And a rationale to himself of entitlement. Turning a negative in to a positive…’If I look like a mamma’s boy, I’ll tell her that I built it and look like the ‘building’ type of guy’ and such a good son too’. Why do we not like the ‘good’ guys? They often seem a bit weak or not masculine enough to me. I tend to, not always, go for guys who are the alpha male type, not necessarily all macho, but strong in their outlook and convictions about life. Even a guy like Dr Simon could be called an alpha male..(Please don’t take that the wrong way Dr Simon, just using you to illustrate a point! lol), So maybe guys that are CA’s come across as all alpha male-ish but they’re only pretending and talking BS whilst they do their smooth manouvres. I don’t know, it’s just a thought. I must have a look at the love fraud site, I haven’t yet.

          12. Juliette…..please do have a look at There are hundreds of articles and many contributions from researchers. I don’t go on there much anymore but I found it extremely helpful. There are a couple of sites you really need to be cautious about though. I could possible give you that info through Dr. Simon if you like.

  21. I have just discovered this site, thankfully!! After a 30 year verbally and emotionally abusive marriage and after three tries to leave, I finally had “enough” and was strong enough to leave. His manipulating words of “you won’t have anything” “you and the kids will be living in low income housing”, etc., etc. Needless to say several affairs were discovered prior. He never gave me closure on them and claimed they were all friends…the discovery process could be a best seller. Actually, this is always on the back of my mind…to write a book of my and other’s experiences and the recovery process. I thought I became strong and independent. I did almost everything during the marriage, as he was always “working” or at a “meeting”. As I never went anywhere, lost tons of weight, started to work-out, I gained confidence (so I thought) and started going out and enjoyed the male attention. I had a short-lived “rebound” who turned out to be the biggest “player” in my section of the state…but I will be eternally grateful to him for giving the gift of total confidence in my self and my body. I dated another man who thought way too much of himself and I ended it…For the first time in my life, I felt attractive, beautiful, confident, and in control…my deep-seated insecurities were buried. Then, I fell prey. Anthony was his name..I had seen him around and initially met him through my rebound the year prior. He wasn’t my type at all, smoked, was kind of attractive and was totally aloof. We would say “hi” to each other and that was it. One night after returning from a vacation with my entire family – dogs, ex-sister-in-law and all – with me footing bill! I decided to go out alone (couldn’t find anyone to go with me) I needed to have a glass of wine and unwind after a stressful week. I went to a popular local bar/restaurant where a great band was going to play. If anyone else wasn’t there, I knew Anthony would be and I could always hang with him. That was the “first throw of the line”. We talked–found out we were the same age (I had only met younger men) we both had children who had married recently. We had the same sense of humor. He was Italian like my dad — In fact, he looked like my dad–a cross between a young Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro. The more we talked the more I thought to myself–this man is handsome, I love his eyes, I love his lips, etc. I gave him my phone number to go to dinner some night and that was it. He never called and I shrugged it off. Then, I saw him weeks later. He asked for my number again and asked if I’d like to go to dinner. He called, we went, and I was “hooked”. I was drawn into his world–a world I had never been in…his group of friends loved me and I them–they were fun, they were rich, they were attractive. We went all over…he was a successful BMW salesman who drove a great car…his apt. was ok…he needed bedding, I bought some…he needed pillows, I bought some…he needed to make his car payment because it was on the verge of being reposessed (it was a mistake on their part)…the girl on the other end of the phone was charmed into making an exception for him–just this time. I would be at his apt. and the phone would always ring…he would look at it and say “another solicitation call”. He always told me he loved me and was waiting his whole life for me. I was the most beautiful woman he ever laid eyes on..called me honey, sweetie, babydoll! He was tender and loving and held me all night and loved to kiss me (and I him). He would sometimes just hug me. His look and touch both comforted and sent shivers of joy down my spine. I felt the way I always dreamed of feeling about someone. We had fun staying out all night and sleeping most of the day–until I had to go home to the reality of everyday life (while he rolled over and slept). After all, it was his day off. A year quickly passed and then another. I was still not divorced–my ex would not play fair and fought me on every division of marital property. He did not want to give up anything…nor did he want to give me my freedom. This played a role in the Anthony relationship–there was always an incident that interrupted our plan–whether my ex. didn’t show up for our youngest on his weekend–or he pulled another mind trick telling me that my lawyer was no good and that she was just taking my money, etc. My older children (except for my youngest) were skeptical about Anthony. They weren’t sure what they felt, but just wanted to see me happy. Little by little the flags started to raise…The nights we would be out with his knock-out friend Karen (who was just his friend, after all) and they would finish the words of a song together…Linda (his other very attractive) friend whom I met on our first date, would sometimes slip and mention a place they were at (when he told me he was home) claiming he told me! The unanswered phone calls, claiming he fell asleep and didn’t hear phone…next time we saw each other “I’m sorry, honey, you look so beautiful tonight”…and all was well, again. Then the times started that I never introduce him to my friends (because I am ashamed of him in his words)! Then I enthusiastically introduce him into my group (wanting them to love him as I do and see the man I know and love) and he acts like a total introvert—no party fun smart Anthony there — just withdrawn and non-verbal–excuse claiming that they were mutual friends when I was married and he “felt funny”!! This happens over and over–at weddings, at parties, at dinners, holidays…no fun Anthony ever arrived there at my invites. His, yes–mine, no! Then a friend states that he was seen with a woman closely talking (on his favorite barstool)…he knows he was seen and quickly calls me to intercept the call so nothing is mistaken by me. I believe him, not my friend–because that’s Anthony–he is a big flirt and, besides, it was an old “friend”. I started to put a few pounds back on, I started to lose my confidence..I was, after all, almost 10 years older than the crowd of Anthony’s friends we hung with. His behavior started to change, his cell phone was always hidden…My biggest request of him was to always tell me where he was nights that we weren’t together–I didn’t care where it was, I just didn’t want to be blindsided. I trusted him. He never would tell me. On time after a sleepover (I never had sleepovers when my youngest was home), I checked his phone–my knees went weak–my head spun–I thought I was going to vomit!! Texts back and forth–“where r u” “want company” “what are your plans tonight” “miss you”, etc. This is how I discovered my ex’s affairs–I immediately confronted him–he got up, got dressed, and left…answered no questions, just left. I was devastated — I regressed 5 years back to the emotional mess prior to my filing for divorce. I cried, I cried, I cried. I thought he loved me..there must be some explanation…I know I’m taking up too much blog space…I will fast forward…we (I) have broken up and returned back to Anthony at least 3 times now. In between breakups, I met two attractive, hard-working, kind, loving men who fell head-over-heels with me….did I embrace that kind of love??? Initially, yes..but then the thoughts returned…the ache in my heart returned…I needed my “Anthony fix”…I broke up with them and returned to Anthony–who had gone through 3 more jobs…had just enough money to sit nightly enjoying a PBR or two, or three, or four…and who reminded me of those relationships between breakups I accepted the verbiage…but felt comforted “being home in his arms”….but the comfort would be short-lived. I started to never call him back soon enough, or phrased a sentence wrongly, or said too much or too little, etc. But, I would ignore it and have him for dinner, buy him gifts, pay our tab when out, give him gas money…I love giving, it makes me happy, right? I wake up, again, and smell the roses–end the cycle…block his number from his pleas of forgiveness and claims of love…friends shake their heads at me…his friends looks almost have shame in their eyes…I’m done, he is out of my head…I am going on with my life, content, praying, meditating, spending time with my grandchildren..I’m finally happy and content and then I decide to have a fun night out…I see him…our eyes meet…my knees go weak…he is with a woman…a very attractive woman…I feel like my head is going to blow off my shoulders…my heart pounds like it will shoot out of my chest…no, it’s nothing..she will find out…he has no money…he barely has a paying job…his bills are mounting…but she can’t love his children and grandchildren as I do…they won’t love her as I do…What am I going to do…I smile…go through the motions with my friends..go home and explode into tears…I get a text (I had unblocked his number weeks ago–just in case)…the text states “You look incredible”…and just like that “I’m hooked”, again…..I lay awake at night wanting his touch, his kiss, his hug…I picture him with her..the pounding starts, again…then it’s gone..I’m won’t last she will find out how he is…but hours later, the visions of her with him return, I pray for relief…the pounding head aches..I need to vomit…
    Please, please tell me why I cannot get a man like this out of my head and heart–Why? Why? My friends are disgusted with me…He tells me that my friends are all man less and are the last ones to be listening to for advice…What is the matter with me? Do I have that much low self-esteem??? I do not understand…I almost want to go for hypnosis!! Please help.

    1. Great that you shared this, Prose.

      About that hypnosis bit, I’ve found it to be a great tool. It’s helped me become more relaxed and confident. Youtube has tons of great hypnosis recordings.

      It pays to clear your mind of all expectations and let flow as well as possible.

      Don’t get limited to just one method. You mentioned meditation. There are many forms of meditation, like mindfulness, mantra and acem and there are even specific variations like the clinically standardized and respiratory ones. Even then there shouldn’t be a feeling of forcing it.

    2. Prose……they are very addictive creatures for various reasons…..think Vampires…..
      To be away from them 100% for a period of time WILL break the spell. It’s all an illusion Prose, there is nothing real there. Remember that…..nothing real and it will bring nothing but what you have experienced already to stay engaged in that illusion. It’s a bitter jagged pill to swallow and it does not go down easy or quickly. I’m sorry but if ever there was an appropriate situation for the expression…..”the only way to get over it is to go through it”, this is it. One step at a time, one breath at a time, one day at a time……..and then bingo! You will look back and wonder what you EVER saw in him… will be like a dream you had that you can’t quite believe you were the one who had it. I wish you the best Prose…..when you have had enough of this craziness and pain, you will take the first step and keep walking forward, not back to him.

    3. I totally can see, I can remember how charming my hb was in the beginning. Knew just the right things to say. Even once you might see bits of the truth, it’s hard to let go of “what it once was”. To always keep searching for that person they were in the initial phases of the relationship. Somehow convincing yourself that they can be that again. I remember thinking if I could just be better, be more of what he wanted, he could be that person he was in the beginning. I have learned the hard way that the person he was in the beginning was not real, he’d give me just enough glimpses of it so I’d somehow convince myself that it could be that again. And the cycle goes around and around. It’s so hard to overcome.

      It sounds like you can see what is happening, Be strong.

      1. Sheri, something just came to me in regards to a bible passage, forgive me if I have it wrong. Isn’t there a passage or is it just another “words of wisdom” notion that has been around of a long time……….. A man shall be judged by the fruits of his labor? So I was thinking about all of the self doubt and questioning these types create in us, right? But don’t you think that if banana man was really changing, you know…….not just in his head… would see it and feel it and KNOW it? you wouldn’t have to be telling him to show you where he has changed or enter into any such exchange with him because you would already know it? I don’t know…….it’s just something that came to me…….Spathtard told me all the time that he knew i loved him (unless it behooved him or benefited him to say otherwise). I was never able to say that to him. When he would endlessly tell me that he loved me (and then turn around and do or not do something he knew would hurt or irritate me) I could never look him in the eye and say “I know you do Spathtard”. Another red flag in the rear view mirror.

        1. Exactly. Thats what I keep saying to him over and over when he trying to convince me he’s changed. That’s when I ask him for examples. Another thing that I truly believe, and is one of those statements I use when he is pressuring me “the first sign of true change is when you stop telling me how much you have changed and you stop telling me to trust you

        2. My reply to his I love you’s would always be……..I love you so much honey, not “I know you love me”. I see it now so clearly! Those words should have just poured right out of my mouth when he said “I love you Puddle”. I should have been able to feel safe in his love, trust in his love and feel replenished by it not drained and twisted upside down by his BS. SO, yeah, looking through the rear view mirror it all makes sense but it’s hard to explain how it didn’t come together then and how I could have stayed in spite of what I see so clearly now.

          This is a keeper Sheri! ““the first sign of true change is when you stop telling me how much you have changed and you stop telling me to trust you””!
          You will know a leopard has changed it’s spots because it won;t be a leopard anymore!

  22. Thanks, J!
    I will search Youtube. I am also in the process of reading Iyanla Vanzant’s “In the Meantime” which has been a great help.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation there, Prose. I did read your comment earlier. Why I commented now, can’t think of a reason.

  23. I’m also wondering, if there are any articles on this site, or other sites (both Christian and secular) that address the “generic emotional abuse checklist”. When I was first starting to possibly see what was going on, and before I found one of Dr. Simon’s articles, I would do the checklist and had myself that I was emotionally abusive due the way I was reacting to the situation. When I first went to the abuse counselor, it was after I had what I will call a “blow up”. When she questioned me, she set me straight by addressing the underlying problem.

    There are some articles that address the underlying problem of character disorder and real truth about the “reasons” the abuser abuses that I think are helpful for women in that initial “coming out of the dark” phase.

  24. Hey guys Are you getting any therapy or breakup recovery coaching around this? I hope so, it sounds like you’ve been through a lot. I recently did a podcast around “Why you’re still thinking about your Ex (and how to stop).” I hope you check it out and that it helps you find your way forward.Here’s the post, if you’re interested:
    I hope these resources help you…

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