What defines psychopathic relationships? Does your relationship, with all of its idiosyncrasies and quirks, really work? Or, is it mentally unhealthy? Not quite sure? We'll clue you in. Should you continue to work on your relationship, or is it time to cut your losses and hightail it out of there? Keep reading!
First, let's take a look at the definition of "psychopathic". According to the Free Dictionary, the definition is as follows: "relating to or affected with an antisocial personality disorder that is usually characterized by aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior." Does that clear it up for you-probably not? What might be considered as aggressive by some may be looked at as strong willed or determined by others. While amoral behavior is certainly looked down upon by many, others may find it sexually exciting! So, let's explore the idea of psychopathic relationships a little further.
A true psychopath will exhibit certain tendencies or personality traits. These may be uninhibited traits that the person simply has no control over. On the other hand, in a new relationship, the psychopathic personality may be able to control his or her initial behavior flaws. In other words, he remains on his best behavior until he has wooed his beloved into a sense of false security and trust. Once he has her devotion firmly in hand, he may then let his true colors show. Why wouldn't his significant other run in the other direction after she sees his psychopathic personality in the flesh? For many women and men, they love this person, and so they feel that they can "fix" him or her. In fact, some people simply don't want to give up on another relationship because they are afraid of looking like a failure…again.
Common traits that are associated with psychopathic behavior include the following:
- Exuberant and charming personality
- Selfish and narcissistic
- Short attention span
- Adept at lying; lies habitually
- Lacks or shows little conscience
- Emotionally distant
- Can be cruel at times; doesn't show much, if any, sympathy
- Practices deviant sexual behavior
- Doesn't exhibit any concrete goals for the future
- Acts impulsively and at times irresponsibly
- Doesn't take responsibility for own behavior
- Repeated evidence of failed relationships; unable to maintain a long-term relationship
- May be extremely possessive
- May have been in trouble as a child, preteen, and teen
- May have a criminal record
What to Do
Psychopaths are typically accomplished manipulators. You may not realize this, and in fact, mistake manipulation for charm… until you do something that displeases him or her. A psychopathic relationship generally involves deceit, control, and manipulation. The deceit may come into play for both parties, but typically begins with the psychopath. However, once the injured party realizes the consequences of any real or imagined insult by the psychopathic personality, he or she may begin to lie to simply survive. Is this the pattern of your relationship? If so, you may want to think twice about staying. In most psychopathic relationships, mental and emotional abuse of the other person and even other family members and friends is quite common. However, physical abuse may also play a role. Even if your relationship doesn't involve physical abuse, once you've decided to get out, what do you do?
- Don't isolate yourself-Talk to friends and family about the situation, all the while recognizing that your significant other may be trying to isolate you to prevent this.
- If you sense that there might be any physical danger to you or your children, leave immediately!-I cannot stress how important this is! Don't bother packing items, saving money, etc. Just get out! You need to contact Safe Place to find an organization near you that can help.
- Seek professional help-Talk to a counselor. He or she can help you learn coping skills as you try to disengage yourself from this situation.
- Trust your instincts-If you are feeling controlled, overwhelmed, scared, or any other feeling that signals something is wrong with this relationship, get out of it!
- Don't get into a power struggle with this person-You won't win, and you'll lose more than just an argument.
- Don't blame yourself-Remember, psychopaths are master manipulators.
Finally, although you may think you can "fix" this person, you probably can't. For help and support, check out the following websites. You can find forums, articles, and other information that will help you understand and deal with this situation, so that you can move on with your life.