By | October 1, 2010 30 Comments

First impressions are important–especially from the psychopath’s point of view

Front and back of the shackBy Ox Drover

Someone recently forwarded to me one of those funny e-mails that we almost all get on a daily basis. This particular one was from a site called “” and showed a photograph of a pretentious front entrance to a house from the front, and then showed the same house from the side, revealing what lay behind that pretentious entrance façade.

I laughed of course, but then I had an “ah ha” moment, when I realized that that is just exactly how the psychopaths present themselves to victims. The façade they present with “love bombing” to impress the victim with what a wonderful person they are—how could they not be “wonderful,” because they recognize just how special you are!?!

It is reassuring to most of us when someone recognizes just how special we really are! We enjoy those accolades and praise, even if they do somewhat embarrass us. Of course we like the person who tells us how wonderful we are, and we quickly start to trust that person. Isn’t it obvious that they have such good judgment? They think we are wonderful, after all.

The false façade that the psychopath presents to us, of being discerning and intelligent, loving and caring, is just like the house in the photographs. It is all fake façade and only when we are inside can we see the depth of the deception.

Once inside, however, even seeing the reality of the devastation of the internal environment, we still hope that the rest of the “house” can be “remodeled” or repaired to meet the image we first saw. We pour all our resources into accomplishing that dream, yet nothing ever improves. We stay there in the forlorn hope, the unrealistic hope, that we can accomplish a miracle.

Even when we give up and leave, as we look in our rearview mirror, all we can see is the false façade, and not the reality of internal decay.

In order to escape we must accept that the façade is not the reality, can never be the reality, and that only destruction and decay lies within.

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Good article and analogies except sometimes it is just not the decay we don’t see, it is the Monster or Satan inside that we miss too. Picture number one should be followed with the Amityville Horror house. That is a scary house. Or how would you have liked to have been the one who went out on a date with Linda Blair then wondered what the hell happened when she twirled her head ( all the way) around? Hell happened. The devil is said to masquerade as an angel of light. You catch more victims that way.

Dani S

HAHA that is so very spot on Oxy! I love it!

Ox Drover

Dear Teacher,

Yea, I agree with you, but I still can’t keep from laughing about who in the heck would build such a “grand facade” (in their opinion at least) as the entrance for such a SHACK? It would have to be a psychopath? No one else could see the point in putting up such a false front when as soon as someone got inside they would SEE what a FAKE it was.

Sometimes though, I think the “glamor” of the facade of the psychopath BLINDS us when we first enter the “chamber of horrors” on the other side. At least for a while. Many times by then, we are so deep within that we have difficulty finding our return path.

The “funny” picture of the “failed” house does remind me that there is also a SERIOUS message attached if we see it.


Absolutely hilarious! I can’t stop laughing. It’s so horrible learning the truth after making the initial investments and getting comfortable that it’s easy to go in denial mode and pretend not to notice.


That looks like the house my N/spath took me to look at to buy? LMFAO they really do try to destroy us.. I picked a great house to rent over looking the mountains/ he moved us into a two story adobe shack with the landlord from hell who decided he didnt want to sell just wanted the rent money! Priceless memories but things never to forget for sure! if you even try to go down the right path they will steer you down the wrong road making you think its a better deal !

Spot on Oxy. Plus they think that because they have presented such a good “facade” they should be treated as if that were in fact who they are. The good guy.I will never forget the classic line from mine. “I am not a prick, but if you treat me like one I will be one.” – this while he had been a total Plick all along, but his facade was what I was supposed to be reacting to, not the reality.

Because he pretended to be a caring loving husband, I was supposed to treat him like one, regardless of the abuse he was surrepticiously putting me through. Twisted.

Good riddance to all that.

Ox Drover

Yes, Anita, they do think they deserve to be treated like the facade they present, as if it is REAL. The utter and inexplicable arrogance they seem to present is really “head shaking crazy” and it seems that the LESS they have to be legitimately proud of, the more “respect” they DEMAND for NOTHING.

The more I think about that picture of the facade and the REAL house behind it, the more ways I can see it in our culture and in the psychopathic ones in particular.

People buying things they can’t afford in an effort to put up the “facade of being successful” in the way of clothing, cars, houses, big-boy toys, etc. People faking resumes to get jobs, stealing, and anything that the psychopaths do to keep up the facade.

Erin B’s X is a perfect example, as she presents him, of someone who tries to present this facade–little league coach, etc. when in truth he is a DRUG DEALER, and NOT “mr. Nice guy” or “parent of the year” but nothing but just a FAKE FACADE of respectability tacked on to the front of a piece of dog doo.

What difference would it make though, if ErinB’s X was a “great father” with a PhD, and had invented the cure for cancer when he has only a FAKE SOUL and treats others, ANY others, like Carp? When he lies and cheats on the mother of his children?

Yea, it is back to the “He is such a NICE guy when he is not robbing banks or raping and murdering women…yep, a REAL nice guy!”


I love this post, thanks Ox Drover 🙂 Its so true- I thought because my ex had 3 cars all of them fancied up with shiny wheels ,one of them a luxury vehicle and a business , that he could afford to at least take me out. My mistake- he would pay extra money to park his Lexus in VIP parking so everyone would see him get out of the fancy car with an attractive woman on his arm . Meanwhile,I paid my own way into the club because he didnt have enough money nor did he have money to buy me a drink- so pathetic. It was all just for show. I think he fooled alot of people into believing he had all kinds of money, meanwhile there were times he asked me to “borrow” money. Luckily I dont EVER lend money to anyone and he was no exception.

I dont understand the point of it all- but I guess thats good. I’d rather be liked for who I am as a human being rather than what I have or wear But as you pointed out, our culture does not always support that mindset. Have a great day 🙂

Ox Drover

Dear jlmfp1,

I saw an interview on 20/20 yesterday with Melinda Gates, the richest woman in the US and she had on no make up, hair just “natural” and ordinary clothes. The interviewer mentioned that she didn’t have a lot of jewelry etc. and she and Bill are not going to leave their kids MEGA-WEALTHY.. They are just people—and not made by what they have or defined by money.

Most of the (quite a few) very wealthy people I have known in my life time who were not psychopaths were REAL PEOPLE, and unfortunately I knew a couple I would have defined as Psychopaths (if I had known what a psychopath was at that time) They were WEALTHY Ps not just POOR Ps—they would have been Ps with or without the $$$$ but the $$$ gave them power to bark and other people jump!

Money, power and position doesn’t make a person what or who they are, or the lack of it doesn’t make us who or what we are (assuming at least enough $ to fill your belly and have a tin roof over your head) and some of the nicest, best people I know are POOR in terms of a lot of life’s outward blessings, but they are RICH in love and humanity! I know others who are WEALTHY in terms of life’s blessings yet they are POVERTY STRICKEN SOULS with black, ugly interiors.

Personally, I think Mel Gibson has displayed what one of those people sounds and looks like. Bernie Madoff has shown what ABSOLUTE greed looks like. Pathetic. Makes me want to puke. Mother Theresa is the other end of the spectrum.

super chic

Hey!!! Where did you fiind this picture of my house! LOL

Yes, that is exactly what is behind the facade…
decay and rot.
Stinkin’ rot.


My x-spath uses a facade of innocence to mask his true nature as a sexual preditor with an addiction to pornography of the most vile nature.

For all I knew and for all the slapping upside the head Oxdrover and others were giving me, I was still falling for the pity play until I saw this:

“The Female Psychopath: Using her false mask, this charming “Southern Belle” schemer appears helpless or needy, pitiful, inept or emotionally unable to cope.”

While my x-spath is a gay male, the above was shockingly accurate, right down to his one of his many online names being the likes of “Clueless Lad.”

“The Promiscuous Psychopath (male or female). Pornography, hypersexuality, masturbation, poor boundaries, exhibitionism, use of prostitutes, incest are reported by his targets. Anyone, young, old, male/female are there for his gratification. This predator takes what is available. Can have a preference for ‘sado-maso’ sexuality. Easily bored, he demands increasingly deviant stimulation. The internet a favourite hunting ground. However, another type exists, the one who withholds sex or affection.

Defense Strategy: Expect this type to try to degrade you. Get away from him. Expect him to tell lies about your sexuality to evade exposure of his own. Be aware of their frequent presence on the internet.”

During an online chat session, he once used a name that included the word virgin, something like “jamie virgin wright.” While “virgin” was an allusion to his employer, when I joking pressed him about “the virgin thing” he was very evasive.

In fact, of all the guys I ever dated, he was seemingly the least overtly sexual.

Yes, this house had a charming exterior but inside was decrepit.

Used Brauer

Oh Oxy! You hit the nail on the head! The first facade with my ex…his beautiful face! He had a ton of plastic surgery done. (He didn’t like his pointy chin.) Wealthy family, black convertible and totaly void on the inside. When I think about it now, he reminds me of one of those cardboard cutouts of a handsome movie star… or a billboard.



I’m beginning to think that LF is reading my mail– or my mind! seems like every day when I log in here, I find a comment, a word, a thot, that applies exactly to what I’d been thinking about just hours before!

And you’ve done it again: I was just thinking this morning of the old cliche,

Yep. Sociopaths are just like those houses that look so beautiful on the outside, so welcoming, so totally perfect, but inhabited by demons. Or like those houses you see on “Hoarders”! They look just like normal homes, but, OMG, then you see the inside, & they’re filled with all manner of trash & litter, crowded & chaotic, stinking of rotting raw garbage, feces, & dead rats. And the owners of the houses are usually comfortable living in it as long as they can hide their horrible interiors from the neighbors! Even after their secrets are exposed, they don’t want to give up their detritus, & will fight to keep anyone from taking it from them….

Twice Betrayed

Ohh, good one, Oxy! Thanks!


Dear Oxy

Great article and great analogy! It’s especially poignant with me since I am in the architecture field and know the importance of first impressions and facades on a building!

Funny thing is that when I first saw the house and surrounding property of the S in my life, I was horrified….it looked like a junk yard with scrap metal, tractors, decrepit equipment and junk all around his 3 acre property. The house he build looked like a cheap version of a Holiday Inn hotel that was delapidated. He has allot of money lives in a secluded 3 acre property and but you could never tell. I, decided right there I SAW THE POTENTIAL and thought that this “poor” guy just needed a good woman like me who was an architectural designer to “fix” him, help him remodel and turn his house and yard into an estate! ….and so I did!

He had portrayed himself so humble, down to earth, and in so much need of help.

Little did I know that my profession was one of the hooks for him, as he proceeded to charm me, and eventually exploit me of free design services, and manual labor to turn his place around. I did change the facade, but the integral structure of the existing property and the interior are still a disaster!….as he is.


The sociopath would tell you the house is being renovated. It was originally built in 1851. Very little has been changed. He wants to update it, yet keep the original old world charm. The previous owner tried to update it and screwed it up. Look at the havoc that previous owner did to this house! s-path would take you for a looksie but you can’t take a tour because the floors are old and unstable. That damn previous owner didn’t do his job right.

He complains about the contractors he hired, who do shoddy work, and run off with the money.

We are all sympathetic to that cause we all had that experience with contractors. At this point we are ready to open our wallet to help this poor guy out with his good cause. Gosh, restoring a 1851 house! Sign me up!


The flip side to this story is the sociopath who falls in love with your clean house, well decorated house. Then he spends all his time destroying the beauty of your house.

I had that happen.

My house was decorated so cute.

His face lit up when he saw it.

He worked on destroying everything that attracted him to me. He first worked on my house plants.

He systematically broke every plant I had. I had the plants in vintage bowls. He broke every one. He defended it by saying it was a part of my marriage to my ex. Even though my tastes have nothing to do with my ex.

After he broke my plants he threw away the cabinet doors and threw away the doorway trim.

He tore up my back yard leaving it a mud puddle. That back yard was a Japanese garden at one time.

He tore off the rock surface on garage, leaving the bare concrete below (which was ugly) That garage looked like something out of Hansel and Gretel until he got his hands on it.

He wanted to do the same to house with a promise that he will finish and make it look nice. I said Hell NO.

This was the point where he really got ugly. Cause I didn’t believe a word he said. This is the time line when he sicked the police on me.




czarinamom, what is his user name? This sounds fun!


Getting off topic. How do I view all the posts I posted here? I would like to know so I can see if I improved or if I sunk deeper in. I will cringe at some of my posts. But, it is important to me to know.

How do I view all my posts?


Hi jeannie812 – Yeah, it was great!!!


Jeannie812 did you ever figure out how to read all your posts? I too wonder if I have progressed. I think I have. However, i think I dump too much, rely too much on one friend in partcular.

I met my spath 3 years ago and it rocked my world. When i talk to my friend about it, it’s amazing, he says, it’s been 4 years….the other night he said it’s been 5 or 6 years….. wow, that’s quite a change! Jeepers. I guess what he’s trying to say is that he can’t take my spath recovery talk any more!


New Beginning

Great post Ox Drover…and oh so true.

Ox Drover

Sk, I had forgotten about this article, but I laughed again at the FAILED facade! LOL

Yea, our friends DO get tired of hearing about our “recovery” and there is a saying “there is no fanatic like a convert” so I guess we may at times anyway fall into that genre where we want EVERYONE to know what WE know (now) about psychopaths! We want EVERYONE to “come to Jesus” and be “saved” but not everyone is interested or wants to believe, so sometimes we just have to shut up and let them walk their own path, or we have to find another subject to talk about. LOL At least HERE ON LF, you can post till your fingers fall off and there will be someone here who will say TOWANDA!!!!!

Thanks Free2Bme!


I loved this site. Yes I fell for facad too. After that working so hard to figure out why this person is so unhappy, just got tired, because there was no end to it. If thoight I figured one thing out, he would brought something else. so never ending race.

It okk me a while this is the real person, who is very unhappy inside and looking for others do something magically to make him happy, which is end up being unhappy.

Will you believe me I used to say we live party to party, because just before party he would become nice to me, becasue he wanted US to be presentable to others as very loving couple. He would even touch me a lot during party and would pay attention to me for the sake of others. As soon as last person leaves or as soon as we left from a party, he was 180 degree a different person. Like my act is over, I am now same bad mooded person.

This house represents out life. I was so suffocated, since I lived very normal life with normal challanges and happiness and sadness, and things were more predictable, but with him, no formula every worked.

Good post.

Tea Light

I love this analogy between the facade of the houseand the mask of the abusive personality. We can’t fix them up. No point trying or continuing to try.

Tea Light,
I agree,this analogy is probably the simplest way of explaining why one must “give up on” a sociopath” and learn the difference between true love and addiction.To build further on that analogy,one can think the old victorian style home they found will someday be their dream home….all they have to do is save money and remodel as they can afford to.So they put all their savings into this home.Some things they enjoy.But they finally realize that the sacrifices they’ve made as well as the mounting costs aren’t worth their dreams!They know the best decision would be to abandon the project and sell the home.And so it it goes with the sociopath;no matter how physically attractive or “dreamy” he is,or how many good memories one had in the beginning of the relationship….living with a sociopath will take so much from you physically,mentally,emotionally and the list goes on like “the song that never ends”!


How true, the facade we were attracted to, turns out to be devoid of any qualities that make a healthy and loving relationship possible. The sociopath is a facade that has nothing of value within. I had a very hard time seeing him for what he really was…I was so caught up in what I believed he was. All the special moments we had early on, and on/off throughout our relationship, began to feel like an out of body experience. Where did the person who I fell in love with go?
The mind games he played and torment of my heart confused me so much…I just was unable to process it all. The experience certainly took alot out of me, damaged my well-being, ravaged my heart and mind. I am looking back now, grateful it is over, regardless of how much I missed him and still do sometimes. I miss Peter Pan.
I had to make the choice, just recently, to put a complete end to allowing any further games. I do believe he would play with me for as long as I tolerate it.
This has taught me that being openly loving and trusting is a dangerous way to live. It has taught me to always remain in the now…see what people do, is it in alignment with what they say? If someone keeps morphing, who are they really? If I do not know what resides within a man, he is not safe to love. Thank God I did not meet him young, I was so much less wise back then, he may have cost me more than he did. Grateful today, for another chance.


Glad you feel thankful that it could have been worse and that you have a positive outlook for the future. I think we all come away from an ordeal with a psychopath recognizing that we need to get clarity on a person’s nature before giving our hearts away. Now that we’re enlightened about how predator’s operate, we can steer ourselves on a more positive course!

Be well!



I just want the house I have paid off so no more men are in it! My second husband (whom I am realizing has more spath tendencies than I waned to admit because if I don’t have him, I have no family or friends)had a literal shack when I first met him. It was one of the most horrific homes I had ever seen. He told me he was disabled (which is true as far as I have witnessed) and that it would take 5,000.00 to fix it. I told him that it would take a thousand and a lot of elbow grease and I was just the perfect person to do it! We fixed his house up, put siding on it, and then I began to notice that every time I would get it cleaned up and come back, he was a HOARDER. It doesn’t matter how much help he gets, he goes and dumpster dives and goes to goodwill and stuffs his house full of junk. Spaths hoard our hearts, our souls, our energy and our love. And just like hoarders refuse to even throw away a plastic honey bottle (yes, this has happened twice), they won’t release even a tiny bit of plastic love unless they want to hoard more out of us.

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