The psychopath lures his victims in much the same way you’re lured by a rollercoaster. It looks like fun until you’re being manipulated, turned upside down and up and down.
You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last. My ex was perfection. The most wonderful man I’d ever met. He was a neatly wrapped package of everything I’d ever wanted in a man.
I was his first wife, he is now married to his 4th wife and divorcing her. I was his first but most certainly not his last. He is a psychopath.
The psychopath trains you to become the perfect partner by pretending he is the perfect partner. Before you know it, your mind and body are consumed with thoughts of him and the unparalleled pleasure of being with him.
It won’t be long, though and you’ll find that you are the psychopath’s source of endless adoration and praise. Once he as reeled you in you’ll be open to his every whim and suggestion. There are three key components to the process he uses to bring you over to his dark side: idealization, devaluation, and discarding.
How the Psychopath Lures His Victims
The idealization phase in a psychopathic relationship will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You will be swept off your feet, lost in a passionate fantasy with someone who excites you on every level: emotionally, spiritually, and sexually.
They will be the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning, waiting for their cheerful, funny texts to start your day. You will quickly find yourself planning a future with them—forgetting about the dull realities of life. None of that matters anymore. They’re the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Also known as love-bombing, idealization quickly breaks down your guard, unlocks your heart, and modifies your brain chemicals to become addicted to the pleasure centers firing away. The excessive flattery and compliments play on your deepest vanities and insecurities—qualities you likely don’t even know you possess.
Below are a few common phrases you’ll hear from the psychopath during the idealization phase.
- We have so much in common.
- We have the same hopes and dreams.
- We share the same insecurities.
- You are beautiful.
- I’ve never felt this way before in my life.
- We are “Soul Mates.”
When the psychopath comes along to mirror all of your greatest fantasies, you pour your entire heart and soul into the relationship. You’ll invest everything you can—emotionally, financially, and physically.
From the center of their life, you suddenly become just an obstacle to their next pursuit. Since psychopaths are intuitively skilled at giving you just enough validation and attention to keep you on the hook, you may not immediately notice the devaluation. It’s as if the psychopath intuitively knows when to be charming again (in order not to lose you) and when to push your boundaries, further and lower.
Your devaluation occurs gradually yet steadily. One day you finally notice it and wonder how you have allowed yourself to sink so low. Occasionally, he throws you a bone–takes you out, plans a romantic evening, says kind and loving things—to lead you to dismiss your healthy intuitions that you’re being mistreated.
If the psychopath allows himself to treat you worse and worse it’s not only because you’re much less exciting in his eyes. It’s also because he’s conditioned you to think less highly of yourself and to accept his dubious behavior. Because you want to hold on to the fantasy of the ideal relationship he cultivated in the beginning, you go into denial.
You accept his implausible excuses for his bad behavior. You put up with your growing fears and doubts. You rationalize his inexplicable absences, his increasingly frequent emotional withdrawals, his curt and icy replies, his petty and mean-spirited ways of “punishing” you for asserting your needs or for not bending to his will.
The psychopath discards you when your usefulness has run out. There is only one reason you were ever in the psychopath’s life – which was to provide “attention”. The energy that allows the psychopath to self-regulate his fragile and precarious false self.
If the “attention” you are providing is not good enough quality for the psychopath anymore, or if you have threatened his false self in such a way that undermines the psychopath’s fabricated image, he may cease all investment in you and begin the quest to secure another victim.
Or maybe, a better (One not yet privy to his grooming techniques) victim has presented herself, and the psychopath suddenly removes himself to enmesh and begin the grooming process all over again with his shiny new toy.
If you have incited the psychopath’s wrath (and many people do simply by trying to defend their own rights) the psychopath may discard you, turn you into “the enemy” and set out to tear your life apart piece by piece.
The discard phase is the last part of the cycle – but it may not be the end of the relationship. The psychopath may not discard permanently. In fact, many often don’t, and that depends largely on how receptive you still are to playing his nasty games. And how hurt you are over the end of the relationship.
The danger to you and your psyche of the discarding phase is, although the psychopath no longer has you on his agenda, he gets a thrill out of watching you suffer. For that reason, he’ll keep you on a leash. Come and go and give you hope just to prolong your agony.
I’ve had many women ask me, “If he doesn’t care, why does he still come around?” He still comes around because he is one sick bastard who takes pleasure in doing damage and then revisiting the scene of his crimes.
A psychopath is quite talented when it comes to starting the “love phase” of a relationship. They are quite inept when it comes to finishing the process and bonding with you. Love is nothing without an emotional bond so, during the discard phase, keep in mind, he has nothing to offer but a lifetime of angst and the loss of ever feeling truly loved and bonded to a man.