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Humans are lousy lie detectors

An article in last week’s New York Times magazine contained the following amazing statement: “Repeating a claim, even if only to refute it, increases its apparent truthfulness.”

Although the article had nothing to do with sociopaths, the statement made me think of my ex-husband, James Montgomery. Among his many lies, Montgomery claimed to be a member of the Australian military, a decorated Vietnam War hero, and a member of the Special Forces. None of this was true, but from what I can tell, he’d been making the claims since at least 1980 (we met in 1996). They’d been repeated many times, for many years—which apparently enhanced their believability.

Like most of us here on Lovefraud, I felt like a complete fool for being so totally deceived. Why couldn’t I see the lies? But it turns out that I have plenty of company. Psychological research indicates that in general, people can distinguish truths from lies only about 53 percent of the time. That’s not much better than flipping a coin.

No signs of lying

Some people believe that there are physiological signals that someone is lying—for example, extraneous hand gestures or averting eye contact.

In one study, scientists asked more than 2,000 people from all over the world, “How can you tell when people are lying?” The number one answer was the same: “Liars avert their gaze.”

This may be true for some people, but it is not true all the time, and probably not true at all with sociopaths. Here at Lovefraud, we all have stories of the predator gazing into our eyes while he or she lied through his teeth.

Some researchers believe that liars tend to move their arms, hands and fingers less, blink less, and have more tension in their voices. Still, these behaviors are not consistent—some people who lie display them, and others don’t.

The point is, in hundreds of studies, researchers have found no reliable signal that indicates when someone is lying.

I don’t know, but I assume that the studies were done on general populations, and not populations of sociopaths. If we can’t detect lying in normal people, what chance do we have with sociopaths?

Truth About Deception

The situation gets even worse in romantic relationships. The reason, quite simply, is that we want to believe and trust our romantic partners.

“As people become more intimate and more emotionally involved they also become less accurate at detecting their partner’s deception,” states the website Truth About Deception. “People are too willing to give their romantic partners the benefit of the doubt.”

The Truth about Deception website is dedicated to explaining lies in romantic relationships, and the information presented is scary. For example, it states, “Most people think they are really good at telling when their partner is lying, but research shows that thinking you are good at detecting deception does not make it so.”

This creates, according to the website, a dangerous situation:

    As intimacy increases:

  • People’s confidence at detecting deception increases
  • People’s actual ability to detect deception declines
  • Partners have more reason to lie

The website suggests that the only real way of determining if a romantic partner is lying is through some type of monitoring or surveillance.

Awareness, intuition, evaluation

So what’s the answer? How do we know when someone is lying?

The first step is to realize that people do, in fact, lie. That’s how honest, trustworthy people get into trouble—we don’t lie, so we don’t expect people to lie to us. This is a dangerous blind spot.

Our initial clue that someone is lying will probably come from our intuition. If we get that hit, that inkling, that the truth is not being told, we need to pay attention.

Then, we need to critically evaluate what is being said, along with evidence that proves or disproves the statements. When facts are irrefutable, we should believe the facts, and not the pleas of the liar.


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122 Comments on "Humans are lousy lie detectors"

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Fascinating post. For we that have tangled with an S/N it often takes some time to discover the WHOLE PERSON the is a lie. When we are madly in love, a little white lie is forgiven, in my case, lies told in the investment business are just paying your dues and part of the game, as long as you are not really shafting anyone, it is in your job desription to obfuscate and omitt in order to get a deal done. With that as a career backdrop for both myself and my husband, I always treated each case of lying as an anomoly.
It is only through researching the P/S/N personality and from bitter experience that I now understand that the whole person is a construct. We all create our own personalities to some extent, and through our choices create our lives, but the P/S/N actively and knowingly builds a myth for public consumption to HIDE the hollow empty bit inside.

My ex did shift his gaze, change the subject, twiddle his fingers, tap, express tense body language. ALL THE TIME. He was extremely sedentary, but never RELAXED. In such a context picking up visual cues for specific lies is very difficult. Also, with my overly developed sense of loyalty, I could never bring myself to “check” when we were together in our marriage. That would be lack of loyalty and trust (back in the day), and to me those qualities in a relationship are in a piece, they are whole, you trust and are loyal fully if your partner does an adequate job of convincing you he is deserving.

And what about the lies that are not direct, but rather “manufactured crisis”. Winner take all do or die artificial constructs, working without a net, no plan ‘b’. These are built on the “lie” that achieving a certain goal, no matter what will bring happiness or security, or status or whatever. The lie is buried deep within the actions and the outcomes, but the attention getting? Priceless.

The biggest lie is the one you make to yourself, the one that gets you sick like Donna described, the one that prevents you from finding any respite from a constant knawing stress, and unease, a sense of being off balance. It is the “if only” lie. If only I were more patient, if only I could help more, if only he were’nt so preoccupied with our finances and well being……”

Here is a specific one I would like to share…I had discovered a monstor lie that was totally devastating (not fidelity related) and brought me to the brink of divorce several years earlier, two years of anguish, some therapy and a promise of no more lies and we patched it up.

My older son was a new driver and driving, usually a little late, to a country school 45 min away on twisty windy,icy, New England roads. My x wanted to get him a fuzzbuster. We discussed and I said, NO WAY over my dead body should he have one, as it would encourage him to speed and put him at greater risk. Plenty of other kids were ending up in trees or ditches on this very drive. Okay, says he.

Not two months later I find the device in my sons car. He went ahead and got it anyway and asked my son “not to tell”.

What an infant! (the x not the son). How totally irresponsible, teaching his son to think he is above the law, and driving way above speed is a good thing if you can “get away with it”.

So maybe that is a piece of it too. The P/S/N is a lie, and he/she lies for “sport”, it is titallating to “get away with it” – “It’s only cheating if you get caught”.

From what I read on this sight, despite of the incredible pain many have endured and survived, it seems to me that everyone eventually is stonger for having learned the depths of deception, brushed themselves off, and gone on to live a life of truth and harmony, sharing laughter and love, but much better equipped to know the pitfalls of tangling with a liar.

Also, once we have found our true selves again, reconnected to our “people” and gained financial indepenance we are not as vulnerable to a new liar in our life. I am not there yet, but I know that day is coming.

Peace to all,

Eyeswide-

I am sure you have thought of this,but …maybe there was more to his radar stunt. I recently learned a P I know ordered unneeded surgery for their child. Attention, attention that’s all he wanted…he had recently has surgery and basked in the attention…so he figured he’d get a ton thorugh his child’s surgery.

They make me ill.

Great article!

Oh, but I think it has everything to do with sociopaths, in that they know and use that knowledge to further their overall deception:

” “Repeating a claim, even if only to refute it, increases its apparent truthfulness.”

They do one thing and, through words, reinforce the illusive reality they created for us. “Of course, I love you” (when they do something awful or don’t want to see us for weeks on end). “Of course I’m happy you called” (after he’d convinced me to start calling him he’d answer with a happy voice, until I would say ‘hello’ and then he’d use this sad or annoyed voice — feigning surprise and unhappiness it was me on the other end even though he had CALLER ID). “Of course, I’ll always be here for you” (before and after refusing to help).

The repeated lie kept us hooked long after their actions exposed who they truly were.

“As intimacy increases:

People’s actual ability to detect deception declines”

So true. Things were much clearer before I bought the whole song and dance. I could see his manipulations for what they were and then, eventually, that stopped.

I think that habitial liars are much more difficult to detect, and since Ps don’t have a conscience I think many times they are not easily detected in lies.

However, even if they are CAUGHT RED HANDED they will repeat and repeat the lie even in the FACE OF EVIDENCE that they are lying.

Yes, the gut feeling is sometimes there and EVERY TIME, not 99.9%, but EVERY time I have had it I was right and when I pushed it down and later discovered I was right, I felt so stupid. I tried to “give the benefit of the doubt”–NO MORE.

I let my mother gas-light and lie to me because I NEVER expected that she would lie to me, not a bald-faced one anyway, but she did. When I finally discovered that she was BALD-FACED LYING to protect my P-son, and addressed this issue, it pushed her in to a rage with me.

She did, having been discovered in her lies, “confessed” to my son C that she had indeed lied, and then blamed it on ME because if she had told the truth I would have “thrown a fit”–and I would have because she was STILL sending money to my P-son in prison, which was both for his comfort and would also have given him the wherewithall to contact others and cause us more problems. SHE KNEW he had tried tohave me (at least) killed, but I think also the entire family, and she STILL did this.

Now, my “rule” is one proven lie–ONE and I will never trust that person again, or give them the opportunity to lie to me again. No matter how sincere the apology appears, they will never get within “striking” range again.

Not all liars are Ps, but all Ps are LIARS, and anyone who will lie or try to deceive me has an UNETHICAL AGENDA and I am not going to deal with unethica. people “up close and personal.”

Eyes wide shut, your husband teaching your son that it was “okay” to deceive mother is very typical of P’s behavior. “Just our little secret” to do something unethical. I am glad that you caught this. I hope that your son is not continuing this behavior that was sanctioned by your H.

Teenagers are at an age where even normal ones want to do this kind of thing, and to have a parental figure OK it is doublly devestating to their development of a moral code.

Thanks for this excellent post, Donna.

This article is so true…with the S, they are so adept at lying that they can easily go undetected. I read that S’s can pass lie detector tests, because without the guilt, remorse and anxiety that a normal person would experience, they don’t exhibit the signs of increased heartrate, perspiration, or whatever.

My S showed NO signs of lying whatsoever. I trusted and believed him implicity. He looked me straight in the eyes as he lied; he did not fidget or appear nervous at all. In fact, he was extremely calm 99% of the time, except when he went into one of rages. I have now found out that nearly everything he told me was a lie or the truth was twisted, from day 1.

Donna’s post reminds me of something my husband said last April. I was just in the process of finding out, discovering, uncovering my husband’s infidelity (which at the time I assumed was past tense and singular). I had gone to my mom’s for a week, to get away and hopefully prompt my husband to fess up. During that time DH (damn husband) talked to our daughter. She was 17, and aware that something was going on, so he had to say something to explain my recent behavior.

Later he called me and said he had told our daughter that I was upset because I had heard a “rumor” that he supposedly had sex with another woman, but that it was ONLY a rumor, and he told me that when he told her this, he HELD HER GAZE. I remember his exact words.

He knows so well how to appear sincere and truthful. And to him it’s almost as if he talks like it’s the truth, it is the truth. “I held her gaze,” so not only does she believe me, but I believe me too!

Also, he told me at one point that he would take a lie detector test. I said, “You would probably pass it!” and I have no doubt he would.

This is the thing that has astonished me most. How can anyone engage in such duplicity and yet show no visible signs of discomfort? No flicker, no glimmer of guilt, no shaking hands, no racing heart. He can be talking to me on the phone while looking at the “other woman” sitting in her “silver parked car” down the street and–without skipping a beat–tell me how much he loves me and that he’ll call me later just before he goes “night night.”

Over and over I’ve been blown away by this, and his complete lack of conscience, and all this from someone who appears–and, heck, I utterly believed it for 18 years–to be the paragon of care and compassion.

Recently I started going over some cell phone bills again. This because my S husband (soon-to-be ex; divorce is filed this week; cheers and sadness both at the same time) last month told me there is someone new, a 33 year old ER tech he works with, who after only 2 or 3 weeks of dating he is sure he wants to move in with and marry and knows “with all [his] heart” that he will never be unfaithful to.

So I was trying to determine when he started calling her (for such a brilliant man he can be such a dummy, leaving such a paper trail). And lo and behold, I discovered that Jan 31, the day he had an endoscopy–a procedure he wanted me to be there for so I could ask him any question under “truth serum” and he couldn’t possibly lie even if he wanted to–he called 6 DIFFERENT WOMEN!!!!!!

One of them a 24 minute early-morning phone call to a woman in a town near where he lives, another call, but briefer, to his new gf, one to K–the woman he had a long-term affair with and was planning on leaving me for–then a woman named Denise, a woman named Leslie, a woman named Theresa, and a woman named Elizabeth.

Okay, recount here. I guess that makes 7. And the reason I know the names is because I’ve called the numbers and they identify themselves by name on their answering machines. Most of these are woman he has met in a 12 (13 for him) step group, I should say groups, plural, because he has been attending groups all over a huge metropolitan area and beyond so he can get away with scamming all these women. (And believe it or not, this is not even all of them.)

Yesterday I was talking to a friend and I was imagining his phone calls that day (which probably aren’t all that different from his phone calls on other days).

“Hey baby. How ya’ doing? I was just thinking about you. Missing you. When can we get together? I think about you all the time. Omg, [deep inhale] you’re incredible……wow. Anyway, I’m having that [or had that] test done today. Think about me, okay? I’ll be thinking about you. Can’t wait to see you and hold you, and, you know, make sweet sweet love to you. Ooh boy, I can hardly wait.”

And then he hangs up and punches in another number…..”Hey baby, how ya’ doing?”

And so on and so on if I’d never become entangled with this asshole I would actually find this somewhat hilarious.

I am having this fantasy. I’ve shared it with a few friends; they think it’s a great idea. Several months down the line, after my divorce is signed, sealed and final, I’ll call all the “other” women I can get a hold of, tell them everything and have them over to my house one day (maybe I’ll have to rent the local convention center), and on that day, I’ll arrange for my husband–who by then will be ex–under some ruse, like say something for our daughter–to come over too, and when he walks through the door….SURPRISE!!!!!

Gillian, I bet at some point during those 18 years he tried to make you feel like the needy one. Despicable. I agree, they don’t look or sound like lies, because they give themselves liscense to create their own truth. I will never forget a top producer salesman I worked with one day jumping up after a long call and yelling ” I am so damn good that I even believe my own bullshit!” Bingo. What lie?

eyeswideshut,

Well, he always said he had me up on a pedestal, that I was the most wonderfulest person he had ever known, that I was too good for him, that someday I would come to my senses and leave.

Of course I would object. Oh no, no, no; I would never leave you, you are the sweetest most loving man, why on earth would I ever leave you?

And he took advantage of my gullibility and trust. If I ever did suspect anything–which, at worst, was only of flirting–he would convince me that I was just insecure, jealous, that I didn’t feel good enough about myself (I guess he did hone in on that), and therefore I was suspicious.

When I started to get onto him, he tried to convince me I had some kind of mental problem. That I was obsessive, would get a thought into my head and just wouldn’t let go. Yeah, he wanted me to let go of those thoughts, immediatement. He was always able to convince me to do so in the past, but–fortunately for me–this last time he wasn’t able to work his black magic.

A couple of months after I was away from BEH (Bad Ex Husband) he called me and tried to convince me how sorry he was and how he knew he had ruined all of our lives. I knew he was just worried about his job and the pending divorce settlement. He was playing head game with me again trying to imply he wished we were still together, but then saying it was to late. I don’t remember the specifics, but when I wouldn’t believe an obvious manipulation he said, “I know I’ve lied in the past, but I’m telling you the truth now. You need to tell me what you think is the truth because you’re not going to believe me unless I tell you what you want to hear.” I said that I would know the truth when I heard it. (I wasn’t going to give him any help because he is an expert at using what you tell him to fabricate a believable lie.) I just wanted to share another example of how they turn it around on us.

Gillian, I just saw your last post as I previewed mine. BEH said very similar things to me too. I still find it amazing how they all use the same techniques. But I guess if it’s not broke……

tryingtorecover,

Crikey! My P-husband has the exact same script!!! The I’m sorry; I’ve caused so much wreckage; I do understand your pain; I’ve given you every reason not to believe me, but I’m not lying to you now.

(Red alert! Red alert! on that last one. That is the one for-sure, absolute, never-to-be doubted signal that what he is about to say is a lie.)

You can tell when they are lying–100% of the time—-scroll down—-

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.Their LIPS ARE MOVING! lol

gillian i was up on the pedestal…the smartest, most beautiful, most giving….etc….and then he would make a weird comment such as he doesnt know why hes so lucky to have someone like me and he fears one day ill wake up and see him in my bed and call the police!!!! probably played out so many times with others that he was predicting his own future with me…what a NOISY NOISY mind these creatures must have

Newworld, if you go back over the things they say, they leave “clues” to how they REALLY feel, and we just don’t pick up on it til later–after the fat hits the fire!

My X-BF used to tell me that “You know, I am an SOB”—HE WAS RIGHT—I should have listened! LOL

It is like the old “I love you, but…..” line. Everything before the BUT is FALSE and everything after the BUT is the TRUTH. Mine used to say ” I really love you, BUT sometimes I want to strangle you”

My late husband had a “friend” who was a P, and I knew he was a P—he treated his wife like a slave, and eventually she left him….one day I was with my son, we were driving back from a “wrap party” for the Independent movie he had just finished working on and on the way back to our home, I was upset with P-BF, and crying and as we passed the turn off on the freeway that lead to my late husbands’ P friend, IT CLICKED—I knew then that my BF was ALSO a P…It clicked like one of those “Ah Ha!” moments and I told my son then that P-BF was just like so-and-so, a flamiing P! I broke it off with the BF the next time I saw him. (and cried myself to sleep that night)

When my husband was alive and that P-jerk came over I was never even polite to the guy, and he really wasn’t so much my husband’s “friend” as he was a guy that just liked to fly planes so they had that in common. The guy used to tell my husband how PV$$Y whipped he was, and that HE had his wife “under control” and my husband should show me who was boss. After his sweet wife left, he would come over and whine that he wanted me to fix him up with some of my single friends, for “no strings attached sex” and I would look him in the eye and tell him that I wouldn’t fix him up with my worst enemy. Then laugh like it was a “joke”—haven’t seen him since he came over and showed his butt at my husband’s memorial service and I asked him to leave.

His kids are just like him and he can’t understand why. Didn’t fall far from that tree! Environment AND genetics!

gillian; my ex s path is the same i checked ph bill the week he moved out he called nearly every female he knew and i bet his conversations were probably the same as your ex h. i had to give the ph bill back as it was posted to my place by mistake but i read it and checked out ph numbers before i did. i still have some old ph bills and go over them sometimes try to firgure out who the numbers are he had answers for them all.i never knew any one who had so many female friends, as he called them but i m sure some of them were more than just friends. i also noticed form his ph records that int he weeks after he left me he called his mother nearly every day its weird cause when we were to gethr he used to call me every day so he repaced that with calling his mother, ph bills reveal a lot. their friends also accidently reveal thing sometimes, i remember i was a t a bbq with the ex and his friend said i was going to invite …….. a girl i had never heard of and my ex said it doesnt matter i m with someone now any way and i said who was ……….. he said just a girl i usedto know. then after we broke up i found out this girl he had a thing for ages since shool days but never mentioned her to me. after we broke up he looked her up and had a n afair with her. he was so good at not mentioning things or people like that . thanks and i agree you ex and mine made from the same mould.

My S – when we were actually doing quite well ( I thought) had the nerve to let a girl come over to borrow his carpet cleaner. He swore she was “just a friend and has her own boyfriend who lives downstairs in the apartments’. Big red flag, when she came in, she gave him a big hug/cheek kiss right in front of me. Mind you, he is 55 at the time and she didnt look a day over 25!!

Well later in the relationship – after many women became known to me that he was sleeping with, talking to, etc… I found her in his phone. I normally dont snoop for these things but red flags were everywhere and I was desperate to know some truth. I called her and come to find out, he had an affair with her on his previous wife, met this young girl at work and moved her into an apartment with him for 2 years!

Then had the nerve to let her come over, hug him and a big cheek kiss in front of me and tell me it was just a friend. No mention of the whole history between them, not to mention she is half his age.

Their phone is a wealth of information thats for sure. And they leave out details all the time – knowing that they are protecting their lies.

gillian,

May I come to that party? HAHA! I have a similiar image in my head.

In retrospect, I think the BM didn’t even have to lie to me about things because I didn’t ask. I think the things he jumped down my throat about were the things he was actually doing. Each time we had a break up spell where he would send me the most hateful email I could ever imagine… I would figure… well, I guess I am single. Plus, after a few of these outbursts, I decided to check Match and low and behold… “Online Now!” after each time he flipped… within the hour. First, I was shocked. Then, I got used to it. It was just part of the flip out program.

One time, he FREAKED OUT after we got back together because I fessed up that I had gone on a date during our off time. He always INSISTED on total honesty and transparency. (with me, that was easy because I was so honest anyway.) There was one date he would just not let go of… I went to the guys house and we shared a salad. Salad! He just couldn’t get over this. Much much later, he revealed to me once, then twice, that he had gone to a former lover and a new lover during a break down between us. Of course me and my salad were the most unforgiveable foul ever and his sexual relations were “with integrity.” Integrity was one of his favorite words to use to describe himself. “Sleezy Cheesy” was his favorite way to describe me. :o(

The Bad Man was such a nightmare. How many times did we talk about that stupid salad?! I don’t even know.

Also, there are men that I dated when I was much younger that I didn’t realize until so much later…like a decade.. that they were total liars. I am just not wired that way so it was the last thing I would expect from someone I was giving my heart to.

Now it’s “Don’t tell me. Show me.”

Gilliam,you may have to rent the ASTRODOME! for your party, but I want to be there too! Afterwards we can all go out and celebrate! LOL

YOu know it sounds silly I guess, but just imagining that kind of “revenge” (not shooting them or axing them to death, but just TERMINAL embarassment–that is if you could embarass a P) and then laughing about it is actually some salve to the soul.

I find more and more that I am laughing now–about funny things that happen during the day, or the one-liners my kids and I bat back and forth—My P son called me “Osama, my mama”—he thought that was sooooo cute! But you know it is FUNNY now and we all laugh about it. The other thing is he sent me a sign that said “The beatings will continue until morale improves” to hang on the shop wall, and now we laugh about that.

If the guys make any complaint about anything I always say the “beatings will continue” thing until we are rolling.

I am so glad to be able to laugh, smile, and joke around again. One of the best things about my life before my husband died was that I always used to say that “there has been more good beef, and more good laughs across this dining room table than any other table I’ve ever seen” and that was so true. We laughed all the time.

Even when my step dad was dying, we were still laughing—sometimes with tears, but still LAUGHING and enjoying each other. My husband was the KING of the”one liners” and always had something witty to say, just the right thing.

I never really thought I would ever get back to those days of laughing and joking and silly things–but it is coming back and I am so grateful to be getting there. Even on “bad” days (and they are so much less and less frequent) it isn’t as bad as it was. It is also good to see so much growth here with the people on the blog too.

Just a brief point about this blog entry – Take this to the next step and purposefully get caught at some of the more innocent lies to further reinforce the partners thought that he/she can always tell if you’re lying.

It’s like having a fake tell in poker. It’s all about control of the information in and out. You can take the inherent belief that the person knows you so well and reinforce the hell out of it to mask all sorts of deviant crap. People get unnerved by people who appear “perfect”.

It’s all about manipulation.

SecretMonster

I think that the majority of women have incredibly strong intuition, it is something that men lack, having exposed an inveterate liar what do they do, either they go totally to ground (like my ‘S’ has, haven’t heard from him in weeks) or lie their way out of it in the hope that they will survive yet another another day of total deceit, do they laugh up their sleeves thinking ‘great she fell for that one’ or do they sweat in a corner somewhere?

I am still in that black space thinking that maybe I was wrong, maybe he was telling the truth, but know I am not wrong, paranoia sets in, and you start questioning everyones intentions, which leads to a lonely exsistence. Sleepless nights and when sleep finally comes the dreaming is dis jointed and scary…

My ex used to hum when he told a lie, I used to think it was sweet but didn’t realise it was because he had told a lie however large or small they still had to be invented… Yes, he is sick, yes he does need help, yes he will carry on with his games, but to him them are not games they are his life.

Manipulation is soul detroying because you end up not believing in yourself, I am fortunate I wasn’t taken for any money but feel I have lost part of my soul, but invariably you wander around (I do anyway) taking to yourself argueing with the other person he has created (the person HE created in you) I have come up with …

All he gave me materially I can return
What he took from me is irretrievable

A friend said yesterday that I was grieving and needed to get it all out, when someone close dies you have something to show for the years of love, the feeling I have at the moment is eating into me, I sway from missing him to hating him, please someone tell me that it does get better

Actually SM, I have used just this thing in playing poker, and I am quite adept at playing poker.

Years ago I read a book called “Body Language” which was my first introduction (at the time a teenager) to the way our Body Language speaks much “louder” than our mouths, and is generally more “truthful.”

Ps are to some extent “successful” or not so much, by their ability to manipulate their “body language” (which includes of course tone of voice, facial expressions etc) to appear to be truthful. In some ways they have an advantage in that they are not hampered by a conscience which will make non-Ps tend to “give away” their deceit.

Fortunately for the rest of us, the Ps can’t keep this up 100% of the time and there are “cracks” in their “masks” that if we understand them and what they are, make them much more easily detectable when we see a P again. The most obvious one to me is when they are frustrated that you will not accept their lies, is that eventually many seem to give you a LOOK that is almost specific I think to Ps–it is a look of utter RAGE that I can’t remember a single instance of seeing on a Non-Ps face even under the most trying of circumstances or no matter how mad a Non-P got.

Other past victims have also described this LOOK—so I know I am not imagining this—the whole trick I think to staying away from Ps enough distance that they can’t prey on us is to be able to SPOT these “cracks in the mask” and realize that they are the sign of a PREDATOR and disengage from all of the other “appearances” of their being “nice.”

I’ve had the displeasure to encounter many Ps in my family and my life and all of them have had significant cracks, including the LOOK, and now that I really do “get it” I will never ever fall prey to one of them again for a significant time because at the FIRST RED FLAG, I am gone! A few red flags almost always present in the early stages of relationships with them. Ignoring those early signs is what gets victims in trouble and allows them to be hooked in.

And, by the way your “getting caught in an innocent lie” wouldn’t get you by my P-dar detector now, because at the FIRST lie about anything except “do these pants make my butt look big?” would make me totally distrust you.

Oxdrover,
Haha I love that term! I have major P-dar now. I think we all do here, we developed it the hard way. LOL

Ariadne,

I think the lessons that “stick” the best in our minds are the ones we learn the hard way.

When my kids were little I was still in the mode where I ironed all my sheets etc. and they would toddle around my ironing board reaching for the iron. I kept saying “No, HOT!” and it had little if any effect on them, I was scared to death that they would seriously burn themselves or each other.

Finally one day I realized that the only way I could see to “safety” proof that iron because they would grab at it while I was actually there, was to let them touch it. So I turned it down to the lowest setting where it would not blister them, but would “scorch” their little fingers with an uncomfortably hot sensation and LET THEM TOUCH IT. After that when I said “No, HOT! about anything they would leave it ALONE. Actually I told them a LOT of things were “hot” that weren’t, but it made them leave those things alone. LOL

I guess I am the “world’s worst” at having to learn things the hard way, and have advanced degrees is the University of Hard Knocks, but I think I have finally gotten the lessons as well as the “degrees”—LOL

http://books.google.com/books?id=91Tnr_uq-TAC&pg=PA125&dq=psychopaths+abandoning&ei=EWnpR4SSK5eQiQGXgNnlBA&sig=r0YWYPEXr80QQ5zWGJkOb-ktvu0#PPA128,M1

Takethe time to read the xcerpts fromthis book on lysing and psychopaths– chilling. The delight of predation.

I didn’t even think of your P son- yeah the book is very telling, scary.
I particularly am interested in the section on whom they target. Best I have read, really gets into detail and the examples are good.

Makes me so sad- the “duping delight” and predation–we just see this as normal emotion, when it’s so far from it.

No wonder my P seemed so “emotional” good God, he’s such a freaking predator.

holywatersalt,

Thank you so much for that link…I read all that was on the review of the book,, and just went to Amazon and ordered it.

Much of what I read goes along with the things my P-son has told me about prison. He managed to seduce a female major.She came into the visitiing room when he was there and we were visiting. YOu could see that “sexual energy” fly between them when they made eye contact—I don’t know how her coworkers couldn’t SEE it.

I coudn’t understand why a woman this bright, pretty, etc. and who had a good career in corrections would risk it all for an affair with my son. Sigh

My P-son apparently was pretty well placed in prison, he had a cell phone for a long time, and many other “goodies” inside. Now that he is without funds, however, he will not be getting along quite so well I am sure. He was in the craft shop and could order supplies from outside. Through these items he was able to smuggle in other items. After he got caught with the cell phone and I went to pick up his craft shop items, when I was storing these away, I found two more cell phones hidden inside another object. Apparently he had a pretty good little side line in prison.

One thing I did notice on visits, was that he was always moving his eyes from one side of the room to the other. He would never keep eye contact with you while you were visiting, it was essentially “hypervigilence” to the extreme.

I will be interested in reading the book when it gets here. Thanks again.

I guess in some ways I may be denser, or as a therapist I had once told me “you have the biggest, thickets, shiniest pair of ROSE COLORED GLASSES I ever saw” You know, I think she is right. LOL Lo0king back it makes me laugh, but she was Soooooo right. I think that is why I was the PERFECT VICTIM.

I thought I was in control of myself, when in fact, I was the TOTAL DUPE! or is that DOPE? LOL

Anyway, when I read my P-son’s letters to his ex-con Trojan Horse P it was so REAL and I could see him saying those things, and when Read the letters he had written to me and to my mother–180 degree switch–they were SO PHONY.

Talk about mirroring back to me what I wanted to hear–“But, Moooommmm, what would Jesus Do?” Pa’leeeeeeze—and I fell for that crap, let it melt my mommie’s heart when I read those lines.????

Reading the words in the review part of the book it was like Prison 101—and a total validation of what I now know is the way I was WORKED just like any “mark”—the easy CON, not the difficult one or the challenging one,, just a complete DOPE!

And I think of all his “buddies” that I sent Bible lessons to, and they answered them and returned them soooo promply. The sent me hand made greeting cards that were sooooo sweet and you knew they had put in many many hours with the filigree cut outs and the art work…and my heart melted, I was saving these poor dears without friends or family on the outside–PA’UKE! It was all the SET up. He had several Trojan Horses in the building. Then he sent one to rent a house from me…the perfect “in” into the family—one I would never suspect and in my “good nature” would be willing to help the poor guy out. His cover story was good, he did have Hep C, and he was on SSD–so how the heck was I to know that this poor guy wasn’t who and what he said he was? He was so nice and so helpful, and he didn’t have to ASK for my help, I VOLUNTEERED. Heck, “here I am, look over here, I ‘m your victim, I’ll even volunteer to be your patsy” I can’t believe I fell for the old “shell game”—and I thought I was so smart!

It definitely is a HUMBLING experience to know that you are that easily conned. LOL I guess it is somewhat healthy now that I can laugh about it rather than feel ashamed and sad, or any number of other emotions I have had about it all. I’m not beating myself up any more at least. I figure that there are smarter folks than I am on this very list who have been conned by dumber crooks and Ps than my son. So I don’t guess I win the “prize” for being the most gullible, but I probably get second place, at worst. (sigh) But I think it will take a darned good P to trap me again.

I’m kind of like that old cow of mine that you couldn’t catch, I can “smell” a rat at 100 paces. If you had no intention of “working” the cattle, that old cow wouldn’t get out of your back pocket—but i f you even had a THOUGHT the night before about it being time to vaccinate or worm the herd, you couldn’t get within 200 yards of her the next day. LOL I swear that old hussy could read my mind! I tried every trick in the book in herding cattle to fool her and never did again.

What had set her off to be that way was she had a thorn or hay seed in her eye, and it got infected and we took her to the vet. He gave her some medication and a shot (near the eye) and then sewed her eye lid closed to let it heal.

After that, you could never get even close to her when time came to “get’em in the corral”—she had had enough of that and remembered that the last time we had done that to her that she had been in great pain. She would have died before she would let us get her into the corral again. I couldn’t blame her though, I had some minor surgery on my upper lid and even with the “numbing shots” it was very much like having it done without anything to numb it up. For some reason “numbing shots” don’t do much for that eye lid, so I have some idea how much pain she had been in at the Vet’s.

The pain that I have allowed the Ps to inflict on me finally got hot enough that I would rather die than go through that again too. Just like the cow, I am not going to take any chances and let them get close enough to me to put me through that again. At the FIRST sign that is the intention, they are going to be looking at my dust as I take off for higher ground in a run. I just hope I can be as vigilant and as intuitive as my old cow was…and I’ve been called an “old heifer” a time or two so maybe I am learning! LOL

Wow, I just went to that website “truthaboutdeception”—

Gosh what a great site. Everything is pretty simply written, easy to understand and lots of great links…may take me “forever” to read it all but great information…makes you stop and think too. Just getting through the links on one or two pages is a long haul but great information.

Interestingly enough, if you THINK you are good at detecting lies, you are probably NOT, and if you think you aren’t you are probably much better than the more “arrogant” one who does. Ouch! LOL

Also, if you catch one lie, they have probably gotten away with 100–that’s humbling too. I’ll still stick with my ONE LIE, you’re OUT rule!

Yes- they are evil Yes, they consciously choose evil. I blog on about how they really are evil. Evil as in from the devil.

And please- there’s no shame in being a victim, just the truth. Do you rationalize being a victim of a car crash?

And I am sorry but it’s not just a matter of do x, y and z and shazam you avoid psychos…hell, they take advantage of companies and govts.

Our acute awareness proves we are ahead of the world in awareness.

By admitting they are evil, as in EVIL, I faced reality. There’s good and there’s evil – it ain’t all sunshine and popsicles.

ps

There’s no proof, evidence real studies that say there were damaged as children and therefore they’re cruel. They have personality disorders, they are sane.

Your theory is not proven– they are pretty satisfied with themselves and go through life getting off on any kind of attention esp. that wrought by destruction and lies.

Read Barc Attack blog- Kathy nails NPD.

Narc Attack : )

there is great documentation about the pain of being a victim of social deceit, and I have experienced it like all of you, but I cannot help but wonder how much value there is in being classified as a victim. Sure, its true. But, certainly there is merit to being an adult and learning from the experience, and hopefully, some honesty about what people, as victims, get from the experience. It’s sad, but true. What is the payoff? I hate to sound like Dr. Phil, but he has a point. When do we get off of the ‘woe is me’ train and put people in their place?

I say this as an adult child of a a Narcissist that tops the scale. I cannot forgive or even appreciate the difficulties that pushed an otherwise decent human over the edge into the lifestyle and mind set of an evil person, yet I also know that it’s trite and dismissive to simply lable the person as evil, thereby giving us, you, the right to act out. You don’t have that right, nor do I, even under the most tiring of circumstances, no matter how the abuser affected your life. You have to understand that evil is not so easily defined. I ask you, do you honestly believe that, given a non-stressful event, that the person who hurt you realy is evil, or are they simply acting in a way that they have learned. I’m speaking directly to the nature of evil, and I know how hard this is, but it’s of interest to me. For example, what do you say to the person who has learned, adapted, rationalized even, their behavior? Are they truly evil, or just a broken machine. Broken machines, IMHO, don’t particularly deserve 2nd or 3rd chances. After all, damage has been done. But an evil person, a ‘truly’ evil person, in my opinion, must know that what they are doing is wrong, bad, hurtful, and then, even THEN, they persist in their behavior, fully cognisant of the harm they are doing.

You cannot measure this level of evilness simply by the pain you feel at their expense. That is not enough, because it takes your behavior out of the equation. Yes, I said that. Hate me. But he truth is, many times we bring on or otherwise accept the treatment we receive. So there are two parts to the transaction. That doesn’t excuse the evil-doer, but keep in mind that most bad people are maladjusted, they do not posess the healthy skills of accepting criticism and the ability to accept life’s odd curve-balls. Sure, what they do hurts, and reasonable people can look down on them, but what does that make us?

So grow a pair, as they say. Walk away from damaged goods. Learn self-esteem, and don’t place yourself in harm’s way.

My father is old, and a lifelong narcissist. Believe me when I tell you it has hurt me. On a scale of 1-to-10, he hits an 11. But forgiveness, and a healthy sense of self-preservation are far more important than being labeled a victim or feeling like NOW that I know this person is evil, I can dismiss him. You can’t. They’re there, like it or not. Give yourself the gift of time and peace, and forget about retribution. It won’t happend.

This is in response the mother who found out her son was driving with a radar detector. So what? This is what you have to complain about? Look, you and I can have differences of opinion about the vericity of radar detectors, but ultimately its small peanuts. Learn to gripe about the big things. OK, I would hate for the deception to take place, and yes, I would take that lie in the greater context of lying that takes place throughout the bad marriage, but really, this is your big example? Come on, get real. This is the type of difference of opinion that could actually be healthy in a relationship. I know this was just an example, and I’m not right in taking the other side, but this is actually a healthy action taken by 100’s or 1,000’s of healthy parents every day.
So what if you two disagree. Embrace disagreements and be natural about the result. What’s the reality check? Do all parents who accept radar detectors in their childrens cars deserve to be admonished? The lie is the lie, and that sucks, but where is the perspective?

OxDrover said “And, by the way your “getting caught in an innocent lie” wouldn’t get you by my P-dar detector now, because at the FIRST lie about anything except “do these pants make my butt look big?” would make me totally distrust you.”

So, you’d totally distrust me if you caught me in a lie about a surprise birthday party? Or about, let’s say, going cheap on valentines day presents this year, or some other such thing?

There are plenty of opportunities to lie in a /good/ way, besides unflattering pants.

SecretMonster

Flugenblar,

Having had very close relationships with both narcissists and sociopaths, I must say, there is a HUGE difference. Not in behavior or the pain they cause, but in the intentions that they have and their ability to feel certain emotions. I think that the fact that the narcissist is your father puts you in a position to want to understand why he did what he did, which is completely normal. It doesn’t mean that you put up with the abuse, but understanding why they are maladjusted and what went wrong in their lives helps to see them in a human light and forgive them for your own good.

Sociopaths, on the other hand, are not just a product of maladjustment. They are missing the ability to empathize and feel guilt. The fact that you are writing in the manner that you are is proof that you have not been exposed to a sociopath, or if you have, you haven’t understood their true nature. It is very frustrating for those of us who know that people like this exist to have to defend ourselves to others who, for whatever reason, insist they do not. We are not talking about your father here. These people are not in the same ballpark.

It is easy for someone who stumbles upon this site to look at our posts and trivialize them. Someone’s ex bought their son a radar detector against their wishes, someone’s ex bought the same type of sheets as them after the breakup, my stepmother took the room I said I wanted in the new house we moved in. But as I mentioned before, the behavior is not as telling as the intention. These are not isolated incidents. They are small evidences of a greater agenda, which is control and dominance over another human being, using our own human traits to fool others into believing they are normal people.

Reading this will probably not convince you that you are mistaken but please take the time to read other parts of the site to try to understand things better. This personality disorder is psychologically recognized and accepted. So, yes, we all have been served a big, fat reality check. That is why we’re here in the first place.

To be egotistically self-referential…I blogged on the phenomena- there’s a German word for it, that the symptoms out of context, out intimate knowledge cannot be understood, There’s always a good German word when English won’t do…

Psychopaths play games- it’s not a normal disagreement or hurt feelings or even insult –it’s a mindf–k. For example a pscyho would take the training wheels too soon from a child and let them go biking purposefully against the mother’s wishes and make lie about it. Maybe let the mother see the child riding down a hill as she drives by. Or be over-protective tp the point they are considered the more competent concerned parent so no one questions when they immediatedly approve a questionable surgery for their child. Their motivation is getting off on the lie. Takes awhile to wrap your mind around I know.

SM,

Your comments are “so P”–of course not, and as for a surprise birthday party, I don’t even consider that a lie—and I don’t think anyone else would either.

You quite well know what I meant—speaking in any manner which is deceitful for a purpose to conceal information that would harm or upset the other person, is a lie.

Withholding information can be as much a lie as verbalizing one.

Children have been shown as young as two or three to start to deceive their parents to avoid punishment. Of course, they have no moral reference or knowledge of right or wrong, just a wish to avoid punishment if they can. Smart little buggers.

The “social lie”–“No I can’t come to your party, I wish I could but John and I have other plans for that night”– Rather than telling the entire truth–“No, I have no wish to come to your house, I don’t like you at all, you are a complete bore.” Is commonly accepted as “good manners.”

If that same “excuse” for not going to the party has other agendas, like keeping these people thinking that you like them so that you can keep on being their investment banker and stealing from them, then yes, it is a lie of “consequence.”

I guess I should have been more clear about my “rule” regarding lies. So let me rephrase it as “The first lie of CONSEQUENCE” puts them out of my circle of trust. I get to be the one to decide if a lie is of “consequence” or not.

Keeping in mind too, that our lie-dar is not as good as we wish it would be, and it is most likely that anyone I catch lying to me has lied before and I didn’t catch it. But if anyone lies to “build them self up” (“I have a PhD from Yale” when they barely graduated high school) or to deceive me about themselves, why would I want this person in my circle of trust?

It is a fact that every time I have caught someone lying to me about anything of consequence, or telling me a falsehood and we discussed it and I overlooked this falsehood, in the end, they turned out to be malicious and deceptive to my detriment. Since this seems to be a 100% correlation, I think my guide seems to be a pretty good one and works for me so I think I will retain it.

BTW Holywatersalt, I like the “egotistically self-referential.” It’s a shame we don’t have a shorter word for it in English. In fact, I would like to see a longer article about that word–good concept.

v.abraded,

IT DOES GET BETTER!!!

I used to drive down the road arguing with the Bad Man all the time. I am surprised that no one ever called in, “There’s a woman screaming at herself in her car on HWY 17 headed South.”

I used to argue with him in my head all night. The arguements were about how he was NOT the victim of me like he claimed. This drove me nearly insane.

It does get better and better. Keep reading. What happened to you takes a while to sink in. Now, I see my time with the Bad Man as nothing but a set of behaviors that I see repeated over and over here at LoveFraud. It is not about me.

I have let go of all that he said. He loved me the most. He hated me the most. Neither of these things have any zing in them anymore.

It’s hard to let go of the nice things he said but you have to remember this: If he said you were wonderful and the best and the sweetest.. or whatever juicy thing he said… you have to get to the place where you know it is true for youself… independant from any man saying it to you.

I needed validation from a man so bad when I met BM and that is one of the key elements, I think, that makes so many of us vulnerable to Sociopaths and the Order of the Disordered… :O) A club we are so glad we are not members!

Most likely, he said what you needed to hear so bad. Those are the things you need to build up in yourself and believe.

Am I off track here?

Dear Aloha,

The person who passed you on the left screaming at herself in her car on Highway 17 was ME!

I wish I had a dollar for every hour I did this! I’d be rich!

OxDrover,

Okay, fair enough about your policy. But what I was saying is, this mythical lie detection between couples can be easily reinforced with things like the surprise birthday party type stuff. I’m speaking from experience here. My wife is flat out convinced I’m the worst liar on the planet, thanks in part to bumbling “happy deceptions” like these.

And you’re 100% right about withholding information.

http://brokeninme.blogspot.com/2008/02/monster-manual-part-2-information.html

Lying is modification of the truth, but this is only one aspect in a greater agenda of information control.

OxDover…

HAHA.. I got that note. That’s funny. I don’t yell at the Bad Man in my car anymore. Or tell my story to the imaginary passenger. I think I did this because I was trying to assimiliate so much stuff. Ad so you have to tell yourself the story a few times… hundred times.

:o)
Yes, if only we could pay for our ruminating… we would be $$$.

eyeswideshut, I just read what flugenblar wrote about your radar detector story. They have not experienced what we have or they would “get it”. I understand completely. I have a teenage son and I would feel the same way about it. He put your son at risk and discounted your wishes behind your back. Not only was he teaching your son to speed if he could get away with it, but to LIE to his MOTHER. I’m sure you have other examples, but one thing I’ve found is I have a hard time coming up with specific ones to explain everything to someone. It’s a feeling that I had or a look that he had in his eyes. Sometimes I’ll remember something that I had forgotten about or dismissed at the time because he had turned it around on me. One isolated incident and a sincere apology is not what I or I’m sure you are not talking about. It’s many things over time. In my case 18 1/2 years. It’s the intent to do harm.

The article that helped me the most was on ambient abuse. I printed a copy of it and gave it to my counselor last week. She loved it. She told me this week she gave it to one of her other clients to read.

Some of the things in it sound like a lifetime movie and at first I’m thinking, well, he didn’t do that. A couple minutes of thinking about it and yes he did. One example is we moved 1500 miles away (he lied to make it happen) from all of my family and friends (not many left I was close to as he did not like them) and moved in with his mother and step father. At first they were very nice to me and our son. His mother even had helped talk me in to moving. But then my father died and we all went home for the funeral. My son and I ended up staying with my mom for a month because she was having major surgery. Bad Ex Husband had to be back to work, but quit his job- for a sure thing that he didn’t get-not long after he went back. When my son and I returned to ** things were completely different. My MIL was nasty to me and her grandson. Her husband would just look at me sometimes when I would say hello to him. I asked BEH what happened, “did I do something?”. He would say “No, you didn’t do anything. It’s not you. You know what my mother’s like, she’s crazy.” I had no car to get out of the house. I had no friends or family around. I had only BEH to “count on”. I know now he was laying the ground work for leaving. I found out that while he was down there for job interviews before we moved he was talking about me. setting things up. He also told the neighbors when we moved into our own place that they wouldn’t be seeing much of me because I didn’t come out of the house much. (when we moved in it was in the 90’s and humid and I was unpacking the whole house myself and home schooling our son so that played right into his hands) I found out all of this because I had become friends with wives of his “friends”. When he found out , he told me they were sluts and I needed to be aware of who I was talking to. He said it in the most concerned voice, not yelling. So glad he’s gone.

A couple of months ago he told my son he was in the hospital for a day. I thought he was using it for sympathy. Which he was, but there is still no health ins. claim for it. Surprise the whole thing was fabricated.

Here’s the link. It might have been on her before. I Know other subjects from him have been.

http://samvak.tripod.com/abuse10.html

In one of the essays on lying that I read, Romeo’s Blood I think. In discussing lies and how we think we can detect a lie, but that we really only have a 50-50 or thereabouts chance to do so.

In some ways, that is probably true, but in others, especially in a long term relationship, there are more opportunities to see things that help to “expose” the lie. Not just at the TIME of the lie, but things like phone bills, other people letting the cat out of the bag, etc. Someone changing the way they act in subtle ways that indicate that “something” is up.

I think it takes a really devious and sharp person to keep up too many lies in the air at one time and not let one of them bounce.

When I was dating my X-BF who was a P, he was really angry at someone, he said a cousin of his who had wronged his father, tried to scam some money out of his father, and the BF was trying to think of a way to get revenge on this person.

I would talk to him about how revenge hurt YOU more than it did the other person, and was morally wrong, and ya da ya da. He wouldn’t say anything about this again for a week or two and then I would notice that he seemed “down” or upset and ask him and then he would talk about this “cousin” who had wronged his father—but this time the “reason” was different. He obviously forgot what “reason” he gave me the first time. I NOTICED IT but didn’t comment, but the third time he did this I REALLY NOTICED IT. He mentioned that he wished he could burn the guy’s house for what he did, and then even described how he would do it (he was an electrician).

It wasn’t long before his X-girlfriend’s house burned, just as he had described his “cousin’s” house burning. When I told him about it (we have mutual friends and I found out before he did–supposedly) his reaction was “good enough for the bitch”—and I noticed he wasn’t “surprised” or didnt give a surprised appearance—plus, he had been in her town that day. There were other things besides that which pointed to the fact that it was most likely HE had burned her house.

I picked up on the lies, but didn’t really think he was doing much but shooting off his mouth in anger at someone. I have done the same thing, and many people I know have–and it just didn’t register HIGH ENOUGH for me to really think much about it until her house burned. That was close to the time I broke up with him anyway, and afterwards she and I talked. She was also convinced that he had done it because he had threatened her not long before, and said “I’ll turn your world upside down.” He did that by burning her house, which he knew she loved, and she lost all her grandmother’s antiques, a unique and historical house that she had remodeled and restored, and almost all her personal possessions, all because she would not take him back.

After I kicked him to the curb, I had no doubt that he would seek revenge against me as well…and I warned him that he would not go scot free if he did. I think I convinced him that I was “crazy” enough that I would reciprocate any revenge he did to me and I specifically told him that if my house was struck by lightening and burned and I saw the strike hit it, I would still blame him. He did take some minor emotional revenge on me, but nothing like burning my house.

Since his x girl friend and he and I shared a great number of mutual friends and acquaintances and they realize how he has treated us both, he has lost a great deal of “face” among people that he wanted to appear “mr. nice guy” to–and she and I are not the only ones who believe he burned her house.

That is one reason I am so touchy now about ANY lie, whether it is just a fabrication of something to make someone appear a “bigger person” or “smarter” or whatever the lie is about, if a person is a LIAR, a confabulator, or a deceptive person in any way, or vengeful, then I do not want anything to do with them. I will not trust them. It isn’t worth the chance.

OxDrover:

Your revelation about the burning houses gave me the chills. Brrr it’s cold in here…(and not the fleeting snow outside).

My X-S threatened to burn down his former best friend’s house (a beautiful historic mansion) but this has not happened. I wonder….how long do you think S’s hold a grudge…? He’s very smart, if he was going to do it, he’d wait…

Peggy, it was over a year from the time my Ps X-GF gave him N-injury, and he held the grudge a long time. After their break up he would go to visit her and her then current BF. He had this “thing” about still being “friends” with past GFs. He even went to tell her how “sorry he was” that her house burned, but he was just gloating.

He didn’t do me much damage, except emotionally, but he called me in the middle of the night (I was asleep) to GLOAT about what he had done. I hung up as soon as I heard his voice and recognized it. I’m a heavy sleeper and probably listened for 30 seconds or so before I hung up.

The propensity to revenge I think varies greatly from P to P but I think they all have it to one degree or another. My own P son is still ENRAGED at me for turning hm in to the cops when he was 17 and I caught him with stolen merchandise.

In retrospect, I should have NC’d him then.

Sometimes people (even normal people) feel a wish for retribution or revenge because they can’t get justice, but I think normal people control these impulses to do evil because they know it is WRONG. That is where the P differs totally I think.

Believe me I have had some nasty thoughts about what I would “like to do” to some of the Ps, but I didn’t dwell on these feelings/thoughts and actively pushed those ugly thoughts out of my head and heart–Ps don’t do that. Also, thoughts of revenge have been shown to “light up” the pleasure centers of the brain. So people who seek or even think about revenge get a “high” off this thought and/or action which further enforces it, I think, in the P who gets pleasure out of hurting others anyway. Just my theory though.

Many times a victim who seeks justice enrages some Ps to the point that they are “provoked” to revenge (in their own minds) at least. I think my P-son is easily “provoked” to violence and justifies seeking “revenge” as a punishment too the person who thwarts his designs or seeks in any way to control his behavior. I made the mistake of letting him know that I had done so—and that is when he came after me.

Sometimes it is better to I think, and safer, to fore go justice if you can, or at least keep it secret if you can so that they do not seek revenge for the “injury” you have done them by causing them to be justly punished (unjustly of course in their minds)

I think the only reason my house didn’t burn was that I confronted the P X-BF, telling him I knew he burned the other house and that I would RETALIATE against him by burning his if my house burned from ANY cause. I would NOT have burned his house, even if he had burned mine, but he didn’t know that, and a GOOD BLUFF works too sometimes if you can convince them you are serious.

Because he had seen my son C instantly react to what he thought was a purposeful injuring of me, he thought my son would do whatever was necessary to revenge or protect me.

We had just been horsing around and my two boys D and C were there and the old “3 Stooges” thing of poking at someone’s eyes with your two fingers, and the other one puts up a hand edge ways between the eyes to prevent it–he accidentally I think poked hard enough that my own hand hurt my nose and I ducked down, holding my nose. Son C (according to him and son D who saw it) almost swung a fist at the P. He realized it was “accidental” and not a deliberate hit to his mother, but if he had thought it was a deliberate hit, he would have decked the P on the spot, the P saw this, and I think being the coward that they all really are, He assumed that he would get retribution from my sons if anything happened to me or my house. Especially after I told him what I did.

That would NOT have worked with my P-son, however, who was and is arrogant enough that he would have gone ahead with a revenge plot anyway. I have no doubt that P son is plotting now, but because I know that in advance I can watch for this…and also do my best to keep him from getting parole.

Yes, the vengeance that they can plot and plan can be CHILLING…but some are worse than others about it I think.

One of BEH’s favorite expressions was, “Shoot from the bushes.” In other words, wait for the right time for revenge and don’t let them know where it’s coming from. He said it was something his friend said, but even if his friend said it first, BEH definitely took it to heart as his motto.

OxDrover:

Oh boy. I believe, as you said, we’ve all had some “nasty thoughts about what I would like to do to some of the Ps”. But what makes us different from them is that we refrain from it, and do not act upon those thoughts.

I read a blog the other day about someone who turned in their ex-S for fraud or income tax evasion. I believe that very soon, and I mean imminently, my ex-S is really going to be feeling the heat…and I’m talking red-hot blistering heat, for the theft, fraud and/or income tax evasion he has committed. And regardless of his own responsibility for his actions, of course in his own mind he will be the “victim” as he always is.

I have some serious safety concerns because he will entirely blame me for his downfall (I believe he will spend 5 years in a federal prison), although in fact this is a joint effort as many of his “enemies” or those he has figuratively raped and pillaged, have joined forces in the investigation and documentation. I have been very vocal about my findings of illegal and unethical activities he has engaged in (forever as far as I can tell..the trail goes back to 1980). It may be a good time to activate an alarm system.

tryingtorecover:

“Shoot from the bushes” is eerie, but I believe true of S’s, as they are cowards.

On a different topic, I have included the link for this websites of “patterns” which relate to abuse, and I believe, specifically to P/S/N’s;

http://galewarnings.blogspot.com/2007_02_17_archive.html

Peggy,

If you have some serious safety concerns then I recommend more than an alarm system. For the 6 months I was in hiding, I had used a private investigator to give me hints on “how to hide”—as it were, in plain sight. We all leave “paper trails” no matter how we try not to, if we have a job, etc. and it is easy to track us—a PI can find out immediately where ever you lived, who the neighbors were etc. So I ended up buying an RV and parking it in a friend’s yard in a retirement/RV area. So there was no record of me renting a space. I also bought the RV under my initials, instead of name in another county, and registered it for tax purposes in that other county, etc. so that the name might not come up too easily or be easily identifiable on a report if it did show up.

I am currently back at home at my farm but the RV is hooked up and stocked and ready to roll in an hours’ time if I need to go again. WE also have video surveillance on the place, yapping dogs who bark at anyone coming on the place or with in eye sight or smell even if they know the person.

Plus, my son and I go armed at all times on the farm, and have a weapon in the vehicles when we are off the farm. I do not intend to be caught off guard. In a rural area strangers kind of stick out and though with the natural gas drilling in this area there are more strangers around than were here a few years ago, those people all come in company marked trucks with picture identification badges on, so I am not worried that he could get anyone to sneak up on me.

The only one I worry about is the Trojan Horse P but right now he is in prison, AND he knows we are armed and that in this county (in which there is an active restraining order) that we would LOVE for him to come here because if he were here at all he is “In season–no bag limit” and don’t even have to “tag” him like a deer. Our local sheriff would throw a party for me if I nail him to the wall with a slug, and I know that if he comes here he has no good intentions. He and my DIL P are totally without assets of any kind and no vehicle so I don’t think they have the resources with which to even travel, so I actually feel pretty safe. He also has no doubt that I would gladly shoot him, without reservations, because it WOULD be self defense if he came on my property or anywhere near. He is ALSO a VERY big coward as well. He doesn’t fear prison, as he is well adjusted to it, but he doesnt want to go back there either. Plus, he has to register his residence which I can trace on the Internet. My DIL is scared to death of going back to jail I do know that. Even the thought of it makes her tremble and quake–literally.

So, for the time being I think I am safe from them, but at the same time, I keep my options and my eyes open. I will not seek to revenge myself on them, but I will speak at the TH-P’s parole hearing so I hope to keep him in jail another couple of years and by then my X-DIL will have found another sucker to take her in, she can’t wait that long to hook up with another man. She is fairly attractive physically for her age so I think she can manage to find some low life to take her in. She does have marginally salable job skills so can get a job of some kind at some point when she gets some transportation.

You mostly have to “KNOW your ENEMY” and what they are capable of—but if you genuinely think he is physically dangerous to you or your property, I suggest that you consult with someone who knows this kind of person and where you are vulnerable. If that means buying a fire arm and getting training and a permit to carry it, I would recommend doing that rather than standing there looking down the WRONG end of a gun—“better to be tried by 12 (jurors), than carried by 6 (pallbearers)”

OxDrover:

The S knows exactly where I live, and all of my patterns and associates (he lived here with me for 3 years). I have 3 teenagers in school, so I really cannot, nor do I desire, to pick up and move. I have never handled a weapon in my life, and am hesitant to do so…I will have to seriously consider that possibility. Many people (his sister included) have told me to file a restraining order, but alas I cannot do so as he has never physically nor verbally threatened me. He does have a history of assault (but was acquitted) and both domestic and workplace violence.

I do endeavor to keep my eyes and ears open, however, and hope he entertains himself elsewhere with some other pathological venture. And hook up the alarm system. If anything were ever to happen to me, I have documentation that he would be the primary suspect. Of course, I hope no such thing happens…but I can guarantee that when the tax man cometh, he’s going to be MAJOR PO’d…spiteful, enraged, vindictive, with an agenda, and a motive for…revenge.

Flugenbar – You missed my point. The previous sentence read, after a devastating lie etc. he promised NO MORE LIES. Because of all his lies I was effectively just a side car to his motorcycle, a passanger on his bus, and believe me he had smacked into a few trees and gone in the ditch a bunch by then.

In short – other than minor domestic decisions, I had NO SELF DETERMINATION in my life. Being enveloped in lies big and small, being reduced to an audience, a spectator, in his movie of himself. I had also found out how through a major lie of ommission, padded with thousands of active lies, he had manipulated me into leaving my family, friends, support network, city,home and couNtry. So I was needless to say, P.O.’D in a major way.

As I said, the radar story was but one small example – but if as a mother you can’t even have a voice about the safety of your teenage son, what are you, the housemaid, concubine and cook?

In a healthy disagreement you either reach concensus or comprimise. A healthy disagreement DOES NOT mean that one party agrees to the others request and then secretly does the opposite. THAT AIN’T HEALTHY.

And for the record, that was shortly after he had insisted it was fine for the same son to go into our woods to cut down 50′ trees with a chain saw. No training, no supervision, no experience. On a windy day. He narrowly avoided being seriously injured. I am sure my P/S/N/ enjoyed watching me worry frantically, but coldly insist this was manly stuff and good for a 15 yr. old.

I’ve got plenty of big stuff to complain about believe me. It is all the big stuff he didn’t think I needed to know that still has me reeling after 29 years together.

Did I mention it turns out he likes men? Oh, and here is another “small potatoes” lie. He told me for years the reason that certain things didn’t work out in the bedroom was because of his heart meds. Right….so it works in position E F and G, but not position A & B. That would be the meds I guess. The pill knows. Give me a break. There is no end to the level of deception these disordered people will engage in.

Lies disempower and humiliate the recipient. Long term lies are devastating. Lies of ommission can do just as much harm. What part of LYING are you defending here?

Not to rant, but you should take a deeper look at what people have been through on this site before you assume us to be frail whiners.

And Adriane, thanks so much for your insight.

Peace

P.S. I think the German word referred to might be “selbstheilich” excuse the spelling – translates to roughly “considers himself holy” , ain’t that the truth.

And Flugenbar ( which means flight worthy or flyable in German?) you are right about one thing, we need to study why we let them be holy, cause they sure as he-l ain’t.

Peggy,

I just went back and read your “gale warnings” blog, about the PATTERNS of abuse—and it is so right on.

The “tiny” and “insignificant” tests that they do, and then getting more bold and increasing the “pressure” and the abuse to see just where you will stop them (or if you will).

By ignoring those patterns, the totality of the “little things” as for example in eyeswideshut’s “radar” detector and teaching the son to lie to his mother and to break the law, and take risks by driving above the speed limit and then thwart the law with the radar detector—that may have been a “little thing” yet it taught the son a whole RAFT of BAD BEHAVIORS, and teaching kids day-by-day on the little things is what imparts a MORAL COMPAS as Liane says. It isn’t the sitting the kid down and having a “moral talk” with them, it is MODELING what a moral life is, and obviously the boy’s father had a DIFFERENT moral compass than his mother.

I think the radar detector thing is a very good demonstration of how a child can be taught lying and all the other things mentioned above, and “if dad says it is okay, and acts that way, then that is the way I AM SUPPOSED to act”

Maybe by the law of the land that “father” had as much right to teach his kid “his moral compass” (if you want to call it that) as the mother did to teach HER moral compass to the son, but I think it is CHILD abuse, as well as disrespect and abuse of the mother.

It is not the way good parents should behave. If parents have differing opinions on how a child should be raised (say, which church or political party to believe in) The parents can speak privately and AGREE on a compromise where the child is given an opportunity to see both sides of the story so that he can make his own decision when he is old enough to judge.

But a general look at a moral compass needs to be something that both parents AGREE ON.

The problem comes when one parent is an abuser and says one thing and does another, i.e. is DISHONEST. How can you come to an agreement with someone who is DISHONEST? Someone who not only teaching your child something that is against the law, puts them at risk for injury or injuring someone else, but teaches them to lie about it?

That to me, while some might think it is “not important,” is VERY important in the totality of the parenting.

My husband and I disagreed on a lot of things, religion, and politics most notably, but we agreed on what behavior to expect out of our children. We respected each others differing opinons and he h ad no problem with me taking my children to church or teaching them my religion though he was an agnostic. EVen though he might not believe “lying” was a “sin” he also didn’t believe it was GOOD.

EVen when one of us thought the other was “wrong” we demanded that the children respect our right to differing opinons but as far as a “moral compass” the kids never knew we had any differing opinons because we presented a “united front” to the kids both verbally and by example.

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