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Red Flags of Love Fraud goes beyond surface in explaining the danger of sociopaths

By Fannie LeFlore, MS,LPC

Since she founded Lovefraud.com in 2005, Donna Andersen has heard heartbreaking and horrendous stories from people across the globe who’ve been victimized by sociopaths. Her new book does what we’d hope parents and schools do on a routine basis: Better prepare people for the complexities of real-life relationships and social interactions, whether business, romantic, family or friends. This requires, as uneasy as it may make us feel, acknowledging that some human beings simply are not interested in being decent, but actually seek to cause harm to others as a way of life.

Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 Signs You’re Dating a Sociopath, released in Spring 2012 by Andersen’s publishing company in New Jersey, goes where few books go in calling interpersonal abuse the evil it really is, and is backed up by Andersen’s extensive research combined with the depth of personal knowledge from having experienced a sociopathic ex-partner, first-hand. The book’s examples from diverse people who completed Lovefraud.com surveys explore the human degradation, pain, confusion and loss caused by exploitation, deceit and manipulation within personal relationships. The stories of those victimized by sociopaths show just how far people can go in attempting to destroy the lives of others, often on multiple levels, far beyond the norm of what we think when defining dysfunctional relationships.

As hard a pill for many to swallow, Andersen makes it clear that extricating oneself from a relationship with a sociopath is the only path to recovery and healing, despite how tempting it can be to buy into fairy tales that love can help anyone grow and change for the better. As many who’ve suffered severe harm know all too well, this kind of hope may not be based in reality, since not all people are willing to honestly face and work on their issues. Less known is how false hope can also disable those who are victimized, clouding their thinking and preventing them from becoming clear about the need to let go of a damaging relationship and take responsibility for taking care of themselves.

That’s also why, as a mental health professional, I appreciate Andersen venturing into brave new territory by issuing a clear challenge to the mental health establishment to make sociopathy fully known as the serious personality disorder it is. Sociopathy reflects a deep level of moral insanity that is most evident among those who focus primarily on controlling others, beyond reason, without regard for consequences, without regard for reality.

For every sociopath out there, multiple lives are at risk physically, mentally and spiritually in large part because the general public has a Hollywood-sanitized perspective, with misleading stereotypes and sound-bites that provide only surface awareness of sociopaths.

Andersen’s book offers far more than mainstream media provides, in very clear language and terms that demonstrate visceral understanding of the depth of depravity among the human predators who are hard to identify simply because they look like the rest of us.

Fannie LeFlore, MS,LPC, is a psychotherapist who served as editor of “The Road Less Traveled and Beyond,” by the late M. Scott Peck, MD. Contact: [email protected].

Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 signs you’re dating a sociopath is available now exclusively in the Lovefraud Store.


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73 Comments on "Red Flags of Love Fraud goes beyond surface in explaining the danger of sociopaths"

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I just ordered my copy this morning — I’m looking forward to reading it!

I have noticed that Evil is a very cunning thing. I believe it works through deception. Very elaborate constructs of lies. I mean lie upon lie upon lie. Some of these lies are masks. Some of these lies are spoken untruths or veiled truths, told with deliberate intent to mislead and confuse. Some of these lies are actions designed to mislead and confuse, distract attention — smoke and mirrors… “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” etc.

Evil IS the lie.

Which begs the question, why? What is the Evil trying to do?

Well, it’s trying to hide something. OK, what?

Well, this is when it starts to get tricky. As you pull away each layer of lies (or masks), you uncover more lies masquerading as truths. So… it can be a very long process of discovery, and you may never get to the deep, pure Truth underneath… but along the way one thing you will notice is that there are patterns.

These patterns are the Red Flags. One flag is not a pattern, because most everyone does some of these things some of the time. But if there are persistent patterns…. Red Flag.

But one pattern is that there are always more lies. Layers and layers of them. It is horrifying, that the more lies you uncover, the truth continues to be slippery and elusive.

After awhile, the question comes: IS there anything under there BUT lies? Anything at all?

20years, I look forward to the day when I have the ability to order copies of LoveFraud and Red Flags – it is priceless information that will never be outdated. Spaths have existed throughout the history of mankind, and so shall it be until we extinct ourselves from the planet.

My response to your question is: I don’t care what’s at the core, anymore. I used to think and believe that, if I only knew WHY people did these things, perhaps there was HOPE that they would find help or a cure for this. Since there is no existing help or cure for people who plan and execute the types of emotional, physical, spiritual, sexual, and financial carnage that spaths DELIBERATELY perpetrate, I simply don’t care, anymore. They are, for all intents and purposes, organisms that mimic humanity – sort of like a robber-bee that mimics a bumble-bee. Spaths have organs, brain tissue, blood and plasma, muscle tissue, and a skeletal structure. What they do NOT have is…..well…..for lack of a better description, they do not have a “soul.” And, no amount of knowledge or understanding is going to stuff a spare soul into the spath organism.

I agree with you, Truthspeak. For all intents and purposes, for most everyone, it really does not matter what is underneath.

I do actually go along with what M. Scott Peck said in his book, People of the Lie, that Evil is or can be something like demonic possession. In that case, I really can’t say it is 100% hopeless. However, most everyone is not capable or interested in trying to cure sociopaths. I believe that most people who try to tangle with them in any sort of deep way (relationship or therapist) are in danger — and most of us do not fully appreciate that danger. Further, most of us do not fully awaken to the danger or nature of what we are dealing with (that is due to the lies).

I am speaking of therapists as well as people in intimate or family/friend relationships — most therapists do not want to engage with these people. Most of them realize that they do not have the skills or knowledge or stamina to treat or cure it.

I do think that in some very limited cases and with very committed and extremely evolved and strong/secure practitioners, it is possible to treat, cure, exorcise, however you want to put it.

But this really is not our job. I think that is the crux of it. It is waaaaaaay beyond my pay grade. Just not something you want to tangle with. Very, very dangerous.

I don’t care if Evil is referred to in a spiritual sense or as sociopathy in an psychopathological sense. I believe it is the same beast/thing that can be talked about from many frameworks of understanding. But we HAVE to start talking about it widely, so that more people get this information.

For most of us, we sure could use education in the Red Flags, and learn to avoid these people — or, if we are involved with them, at least know what we are dealing with, to minimize damage to ourselves and others. And hopefully, contain the Evil — because you are right, I do not think we can eradicate it any time soon.

20 years,
what is below the myriad layers of lies is shame.
That’s an emotion we don’t speak of much, it’s too uncomfortable. It’s also what they slime us with. You can’t contain evil when you are in its presence, it is drawn to us because it needs to fill it’s emptiness. That’s what it is ashamed of, it’s emptiness. And that emptiness is why they take and take and take and can never take enough. They can’t ever fill it because they refuse one thing: responsibility.
And love equals responsibility.

Skylar,

I think shame is one of the very deep layers. And underneath the very last layer of all is the beauty of the spirit and soul — and I think we all have that, even the spaths. However, it is so buried, and it is not our job to uncover it. I mean — we are absolutely not qualified for this job and shouldn’t think that we are. I fundamentally believe that it is between God and the lost soul. And, for those with different spiritual beliefs… to put it another way, it is the individual path of the person who is so incredibly lost, they have to learn it for themselves or find their own way. They are so very lost. But once again — not our job to guide them out of it. About all any of us can do for anyone else, anyhow, is to shine our own light out into the world as bright as we are able, at any given moment. That light might provide some beacon, some guidance. But it is up to the person wandering around lost in the dark to open their eyes and see it.

(and an aside with regard to shining our light… sometimes that does attract the attention of a sociopath.)

These thoughts are hard to express because I am speaking on several levels at once. But the bottom line for me is: I’m not trying to do God’s job. I’m trying to do my job. And tangling with Evil in the mistaken view that I am God and can fix it — that’s really misguided. I know I can’t fix it. and I know it’s dangerous to try. Besides… it is a distraction from my own job. 😉

20years,
you said:
(and an aside with regard to shining our light” sometimes that does attract the attention of a sociopath.)

That is so true! It inevitably will attract a spath. They like shiny things!

The only reason to understand a spath is as an example of how NOT TO BE. They do serve a purpose, as a warning to others of what can happen when you choose to be like a spath.

yes, Skylar, agreed. And also to understand sufficiently to know what you are dealing with so you don’t interact with them as though they were like you/capable of empathy and a real relationship. It’s a terrible thing to be fooled. Once you realize that you were fooled, then it pays to educate yourself so you don’t deplete your life’s energy by hanging out with the wrong crowd.

I have very sadly concluded that for the vast majority of spaths (like maybe 99.99999% of them) they don’t really have a CHOICE to be or not to be a spath. I think their only choice is which mask to wear.

That’s just a guess.

My personal belief is that they DO have a choice between what is clearly right and clearly wrong. Now, other more subtle behaviors and predispositions to manipulate may be genetically or environmentally ingrained in them, but I don’t know and neither do the experts.

What I do know is that nearly all systems of beliefs engender the idea of conscience and remorse as being a part of the human condition. If we harm someone else by deliberate means or by proxy, remorse is appropriate and proper steps are taken to either apologize or resolve our mistaken action. In the World Of Sociopathy, no such mores and ethics exist.

I lived my entire life based upon a core of shame – that’s exactly what it’s termed in psychology: “Shame Core.” I am not a sociopath, yet every decision that I made was based upon this shame core. I see both exspaths that I experienced as lacking in any type of shame, be it appropriate or overwhelming. Both of these people perpetrated their various abuses and cons without an ounce of conscience, remorse, pity, or mercy. They were both the human embodiment of “evil.”

I would like to make myself believe that all human beings have souls, even if those souls are so tortured that they have no choice but to live without conscience or remorse. At this late stage in my life, I just don’t believe that spaths have that inner light that constitutes a “soul.” Perhaps, that’s why they ARE so attracted to those who exhibit a soul.

Just my personal views.

20 years – thank you for ordering a Red Flags of Love Fraud. It is a very practical guide for exposing the predatory behavior of the sociopath.

As far as the root cause – I do think that it’s spiritual and/or energetic. I think that sociopaths have rejected everything that is good and light at such a deep level, and that’s why they are beyond reach. I don’t talk about this in Red Flags of Love Fraud, although I do talk about it in my first book about my personal story, which is called Love Fraud.

Skylar – I disagree about the shame thing. Sociopaths have absolutely no shame – that is the problem. They are perfectly comfortable with with their exploitative, manipulating ways.

Dr. Liane Leedom wrote about this several years ago. You can see her article here:

http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2007/11/10/sociopaths-and-psychopaths-have-you-no-shame/

Truthspeak,

For what it is worth, I see psychopathy like alcoholism…there is a genetic PREDISPOSITION but there is a CHOICE to be or not to be.

An alcoholic has a genetic predisposition to be more tempted by alcohol than people without that gene set, but they have a CHOICE to drink or not to drink.

A psychopath, we know, has some genetic predisposition toward psychopathy, but they have choices. To do what they know is wrong, or not to. Some kids are not taught “right or wrong” so their choices are made more or less for them, but those that are “raised right” as Fannie Flagg would say know what is right, but CHOOSE to do wrong. Enjoy doing wrong even.

I have never had any doubt that personality disorders had some genetic basis, my son Patrick is so much like my P sperm donor that it is unbelievable, and the two never met….but my son made CHOICES to do wrong, to steal and murder. He knew both were wrong, yet he did them, with glee afterward, just like my P sperm donor.

I think that eventually, just like the alcoholic who continues to drink, that they get to a point that they can’t or won’t stop. With alcoholics the alcohol damages the brain to the point that they no longer can think or make reasonable choices about anything….I think the psychopath’s choices do the same thing to them, they get to a point they can no longer make a positive choice. The Bible calls this a “reprobate mind.” Their conscience is seared to the point that even God can’t reach them. They have given themselves to the forces of darkness. They are spiritually bankrupt. They have a soul, it is just one of evil.

Truthspeak, that is a very interesting idea, that spaths are attracted to “shining” people who exhibit a soul, because they are so lacking, themselves.

I know I can only guess at this — so my views come from spiritual reading I’ve done, experience and meditating on these things.

So these are my spiritual views, which are always subject to changing…

as far as choices to DO right or DO wrong, yes I think we all (spaths included) have that freedom of choice, at every moment. But for spaths, I think it is a mask. They are only pretending. I think the motivation is different. Like putting on a beautiful dress over a filthy body and then spraying on a bunch of perfume to cover up the stench. And a lot of us are too blind to notice the difference.

But to go a step further… rather than wash their body clean, they’d prefer to just cover it up and fool people.

I do think they are fooling themselves — I think they believe that they are that filthy body and are comfortable being that way, or it is a habit, it is lazy, and they also do not realize that what they perceive as their vast riches are actually tin and plastic. They are totally, completely blind to what they have become and what they are doing. At a very fundamental level. At a slightly more surface level — yes, they have “choices” in how they behave and some of them can train themselves very well to not let that mask slip.

I hear you, Skylar, calling that “shame.” I think it looks like shame but is something different. And I think that is part of why I call this thing “slippery” because it is very hard to grasp.

Oxy,

Yeah — it’s the glee that is the tell.

The various views on “what” and “why” spaths are each are valid, IMHO. MY personal cahllenge has been to abandon the tolerance in the false hope of redemption. To this day, I have never witnessed the true healing redemption of any spath – not ever.

Throughout my life, I have ignored, dismissed, and even rationalized the clear and WAVING “red flags” based upon the spiritual beliefs that I was raised with: everyone deserves a second chance and everyone can be redeemed. KNOWING that spaths exist and that they all display their “red flags” is imperative knowledge – it’s like a coral snake and their beautiful vibrant markings being a “red flag” of Nature to AVOID this species because their poison is LETHAL. Well, educating the general public about the markings of a spath is a much more difficult challenge because human beings WANT to understand and render healing. Other species are much more interested in setting their place in the pack and surviving through the next season.

Excellent discussion – hugs all around!

Donna,
I agree that they don’t FEEL shame. But they have it. It is called “bypassed shame” and was first written about in 1971 by Helen B. Lewis, a psychology researcher. It is shame that is unacknowledged, unfelt. It presents as narcissism.

Dr. Leedom says:

they cannot afford to admit any weakness or error, not even to themselves.

The key words here are “cannot…admit…not even to themselves.” This indicates a state of denial.
Dr. Leedom says,

These researchers looked at five responses to shame: attack other, avoidance, attack self, withdrawal and adaptive. Psychopathy was specifically associated with the tendency to attack others or to withdraw in response to situations that would normally elicit shame.

Attacking others is a response to shame. Psychopathy is specifically associated with attacking others in response to shame. In other words, rather than feel shame, they attack. So the feelings of shame ARE there but then they are expelled/projected onto others in anger, blaming and scapegoating. That’s why we feel slimed in their presence, they project their shame onto us. In their minds, it’s always our fault. Then WE feel anger at being humiliated and shamed.

Even normal people will sometime react by blaming others when we are shamed. Psychopaths are different in that their whole lives revolve around this behavior. They are big wads of walking narcissism in denial of any feelings that threaten their facade. They choose to deny any feelings which would make them vulnerable, like normal humans are. The pathological, non-stop lying attests to the state of denying reality, including the reality of being ashamed.

Once they’ve implemented a mechanism for bypassing shame, (blaming others for everything) they are free to act shamelessly.

I can see why there is confusion on this subject. It leaves the question: if it’s not felt (shame) then is it really there?
The answer is in the evidence of their behavior: if it wasn’t really there, they wouldn’t have to project it onto others.

Truthspeak,

Some venomous things have bright colors to warn us off, but others, have camo so they can hide in plain sight. The other day my son killed a cotton mouthed snake, almost invisible where it lay. Totally toxic. some psychopaths are like the coral snake but others are like the cotton mouth. How much easier it would be for us if they were all brightly colored so we could see them and know them for what they are, but unfortunately, they don’t all wave visual RED FLAGS, and we must observe their BEHAVIOR for those indicators of poison.

Donna’s new book gives some great indicators of those RED FLAGS, but I would add a couple more. One is ANY sign of DISHONESTY is a deal breaker for me. Any sign of IRRESPONSIBILITY is also a deal breaker.

Sure, we are going to encounter people every day who are dishonest and irresponsible, but we don’t have to allow those people into our circle of INTIMACY. We don’t have to allow those people to gain our trust.

Ox Drover;

“Any sign of dishonesty” is particularly true regarding internet dating. There is no reason for a person not to be honest regarding their age, location, height, weight and current appearance.

Skylar, thank you, that is a really good explanation.

I do know that my ex-husband has always become very angry at exposure of his pathology (or threats to expose). The appearance of sanity and normalcy is all-important to him.

And I think this is multilayered, and that’s why it can be confusing. On the surface, for many spaths, they appear completely unconcerned about their behavior — and that presents as not having any shame. Or we connect “shame” in our minds with remorse — if you cannot feel remorse, you cannot feel shame.

I do recall reading a bit about borderline personality disorder and the blame-shifting — which can be so lightning-rapid that it happens unconsciously; the spath or disordered person is in partial or complete denial of this mechanism of shifting blame — in many cases, they TRULY BELIEVE that the blame lies outside themselves (and in another person). That is their delusion. The explanation is that the defense mechanism is covering something so deeply embedded that it is buried very deeply beneath their conscious minds… that means it is very hard to get to. Slippery.

I think for some others, it is not buried so deeply, and occasionally may surface into their conscious minds the horror of what they are doing — for a glimpse of a split second; then the defense mechanism kicks in. Which is a much more comforting feeling than to try to grasp that slippery, horrifying thought which just threatened to become exposed above the surface.

This might be another case (?) where the terminology has different connotations for different people (like the word “forgiveness” which has brought about so many interesting discussions here).

Thank you all for taking the time to write to eloquently on this topic. It is so helpful.

I was starting to feel healed and this week I decided finally to de-friend my spath on Facebook. I had him blocked so I couldn’t see his postings but I reached a point where I want to post things and I don’t want him to know anything about me any more. It was so simple to do and then I fell back into the abyss. It’s as if I hit the spot where a thin layer of scar tissue had developed and scraped it all off.

Meditation, making contact with real love in my world, and reading here all have me feeling better. I am shocked by how much this still hurts though.

20years;

Since sociopathy and borderline personality disorder are both Cluster B personality disorders, there are some over-lapping traits. Even to professionals, they can he hard to distinguish. My counselor thought the x-spath was borderline, perhaps because he is one of those “academic” types who only recognizes anti-social personality disorder.

Since most borderlines are women and most sociopaths are men, a strong case can be made that the underlying “disease” is similar except for the high testosterone component that makes sociopaths non-empathetic.

I have some evidence to suggest that the person I dated before the x-spath was borderline. I remained friends with one of his friends and certainly from some conversations we have had about him, I got that impression.

Other than the male-femaie difference, the other big difference is the empathy factor. Borderlines feel their own pain. Thus, when they are confronted with a difficult relationship situation, for example needing to terminate a relationship, it will be very difficult for the borderline to do such and in the process will be very emotional.

Sociopaths have no empathy and can end a relationship like turning off a light switch.

In addition borderlines tend to not engage in relationships purely for sex. Thus, while the borderline may be promiscuous, they tend to be serially so and won’t “waste” time with anyone they don’t consider a true romantic partner. Sociopaths will juggle multiple partners and have no problem dating just for sex.

20years,
it is confusing because there are so many LAYERS of lies.
As you said, somtimes they are aware that they are blaming someone else for their own transgressions but that is easily fixed by adding another layer: she deserves it. Justification is such a handy weapon.

When you realize the utter and complete disconnection from reality that these creatures live in, when you really comprehend it, it boggles the mind. And you realize that you will NEVER really comprehend it.

I was really interested in Seemona Sumasar’s story – the woman who was raped and framed – because her spath used the police, just like mine did. So I did some more research on her spath RatRotten, and I found this interview of him:

Insisting on his innocence, he says,

“I believe there are 4 sides to every story. The Truth, The if, The maybe, and The whatever else.”

WTF?!!!! Who SAYS stuff like that?
4 sides? The if? The maybe? The whatever? WTF?
This just absolutely defines the mentality of a spath. They’ve gone so far into denial that reality has begun to fragment into 4 sides. LOL!

http://video.ca.msn.com/watch/video/vengeance-part-2/17ymt6uhp?cpkey=232a3c9d-884d-44cf-8b80-af286b2b4bcc%7c%7c%7c%7c

Edit:
I would translate his “The whatever” to mean, “whatever else I might think of to say happened.” It’s as if anything he imagines, becomes real just by the fact that he imagined it as a possibility.” 😯

Skylar — that is hilarious. As well as classic. And profoundly TRUE. I think spaths are profoundly fragmented people. A veritable hall of mirrors.

Behind_blue_eyes: when I was reading about BPD and “learned” that there are more BPD females, and more NPD males, something inside my head said, “hmmmm…. maybe this is due more to socialization and sex roles than hormones or something else?” I don’t know the answer — but I did note that the traits overlapped and also I kept telling myself, “these diagnoses are just academic constructs which are useful in describing it, but not the thing itself — I bet there is more to it, or some unifying factor, and so far we have missed it.”

My ex-husband has MANY borderline traits, as well as lack of empathy. He fits more borderline traits than narcissistic… except for the empathy piece. But his wife is the true evil anti-social or sociopathic one. She is the one who premeditates and delights in creating drama while appearing innocent herself.

It is interesting to me that I was taken in by my ex-husband for many years, and I was confused by his wife for the first few years I knew her, but once I learned about sociopathy, I got her and her machinations were suddenly patently obvious — and thus no longer worked on me. (time to go gray rock!)

I do think that both males and females can be borderline, but the males may project their anger outwards and the females may project theirs inwards, due to the hormones and/or socialization of gender roles.

20years;

Is your husband gay?

behind_blue_eyes,

Great question. I never thought so or saw/had any proof of it. But interestingly, our best man (good friend of mine since college) is a gay man, and he introduced us. He was friends with my ex-husband for about 3 years before he introduced us. My friend has always told me that he thinks my ex-husband is closeted gay. But I am not sure what it is that would lead him to think that. I am sure there was never anything between them like that (I know my friend very well).

(it is another question for another day, why my friend set us up in the first place — yes, it was that — more than “introducing” us — haha)

So I guess I don’t REALLY know. But my gut tells me that if he is, he has not acted on it. Can’t say for sure, though. AFTER we were married, my husband told me that he had hired (female) prostitutes. Nice to find that out AFTER marriage, right? (we dated/were engaged for 14 months before we married). As far as I know, there was no cheating during the marriage. I left because of the abuse.

to clarify — my gay male friend did not let in on any of his thoughts that my husband was closeted gay until AFTER I divorced him.

I just don’t see any shame from my ex spath. There were even a couple months after the divorce when he actually asked ME to HELP him get back on track with some of the family he had “burned”. Stupidly, I took his words to mean he actually wanted “help”.

I told him he needed to make sincere apologies for starters. This went on for 2 weeks. Then one day he blew me off and actually said to me “when are you gonna learn, I’m just a brat?”. That was the END of any contact beyond gray rock with him.

Some of his friends have told me he is a LOST soul, but I do not believe he HAS a soul. We are in the midst of our oldest childs’ wedding preparations. He continues to try to manipulate me by LOVE BOMBS; manipulate our child in all directions; and flaunt his girlfriend and her family in our faces.

He definitely knows right from wrong and the QUOTE he has on his FB page is a laugh!!! He has preached this quote all through his life and his ACTIONS have and continue to be the opposite.

Spaths have no soul. I’m convinced of that.

The thing we must keep in mind, I think, is that though people who are called “psychopaths” and “Borderlines” have many things in common with each other, they are not equal or identical.

By this I mean that not all Paths are identical to other Paths and not all BPDs are identical to other BPDs there are “grades” or “levels” whatever you want to call it. Just as we (victims) have some similarities we are not all identical in why we fell for the various things that hooked us.

While psychopaths have little empathy, here again as Dr. Baron-Cohen showed in his research, there are DEGREES of empathy from “Zero” to some, so while we can say that a “psychopath has no empathy” that is a bit of an overstatement, as a few of them may have a little bit of empathy.

Just as some psychopaths are physically violent, others are more emotionally abusive. Some like Bernie Madoff are big financial con men and others are bank robbers or muggers, or sexual predators like Ted Bundy.

Just as we might describe a certain breed of dog, we can describe a “psychopath,” but just as all of a certain kind of dog are not IDENTICAL, neither are psychopaths (or Borderlines) and the idea of a “psychopath” or a “borderline” are, as someone above pointed out, just a “verbal construct” to define a SET of BEHAVIORS that are sort of in line with the construct. The behaviors themselves are variable.

However, just as not all Pit Bull dogs are vicious and not all Beagle dogs are loving, we are more wary around the Pit Bull dogs because the breed as a whole are more aggressive than the Beagles. So as we learn about dogs and which ones are more likely to bite than another, and which ones are actually more dangerous than others, we learn about the “breed” of the psychopath and how to distinguish them from other “breeds.” (Donna’s book the RED FLAGS describes how to distinguish them) Since in the case of psychopaths versus other humans they have two eyes, two ears, two legs, two arms, etc. just like everyone else, it is by BEHAVIOR ALONE that we can distinguish them….and because behavior is somewhat variable even in psychopaths and normal people too, we have to watch for the PATTERNS of that behavior in order to distinguish potentially violent, lethal or untrustworthy individuals which we call psychopaths or sociopaths (or borderline PDs)

20years;

The reason why I asked is that the gay mind is neither male nor female but somewhere in between. Because of this, it is possible, via tests, to discern a person’s sexual orientation, whether they act on it or not. Or admit or not. The best example is that men tend to do better in math and women in verbal. SAT scores are evidence of this. However, I am a gay male and actually scored higher in verbal than math. Thus, it makes some sense than more gay males would be borderline than straight ones.

I have dated at least two gay men who are sociopaths and neither was violent or outwardly aggressive. However, they both exhibited inappropriate, dramatic responses a certain times which could be interpreted by some as borderline.

Ox Drover;

We think in terms of “continuums” which is true but take that one step further into a three-dimensional view — thus, the Cluster Bs are like a series of peaks along the same ridge…

BBE, that’s a great analogy! Peaks along the same ridge.

There has been some research showing that testosterone levels in the womb are somehow connected (they think but have yet to totally prove) to psychopathy in the child later.

Many psychopaths are also not that much of a behavior problem until puberty when the hormones kick in.

With more women tending to be “borderline” and more men tending to be “psychopaths” I think there is a difference in the behaviors related to hormone responses. Males are more aggressive in response to hormones so I think it is possible that the hyper emotional black and white thinking of the borderline may be a form of PMS. I know myself, my moods fluctuated some with the “time of month” until menopause at which time they leveled out. My mood fluctuations weren’t to the level of the borderlines and my thinking wasn’t as black and white as the typical borderline but there were definitely hormonal fluctuations. A day or two before my period started I was “cranky” for sure. LOL

BBE,

I liked your anology… I see a set of waves (that get your surf ass kicked) peaking.

Do want to note that there is evidence that the “men tend to do better in math and women on the verbal level” may be a cultural result. There are tribes where this finding is not true… not coincidentally those are cultures where women are more trained in mathemathical thinking than the men, because of the tasks they are expected to do in those cultures (such as architecture). Hence these women in those cultures have overall the brain of an engineer rather than a linguist.

darwinsmom;

I agree this topic has been well-debated but the strongest evidence of a non-cultural bias is that despite more girls now taking SATs than boys, there are more than 2 times as many boys scoring a perfect 800 in math and when adjusted for numbers, there are nearly three times as many boys.

One would think that cultural bias would be neutral at this extreme end…

I don’t know if this has been suggested elsewhere, but in case it hasn’t, if you can afford it, buy both of Donna’s books and donate them to a library that loans out to other libraries.

In my state, the public libraries are linked together. I can access this catalogue and borrow a book from any library in the system. It will be routed to my town library and I’ll get an email telling me that I can pick it up.

Another benefit of doing this is the search will bring up topics and other books dealing with this subject.

It’s one way to get the word out and help it to spread.

G1S I am not sure if you are aware of it or not, but be careful which library you donate do as many of them will “discard” books or take them and put them directly into the discard pile that they have sales of.

Make sure that there is little likelyhood they will discard it. I donated a large library of reference books to a library that discards heavily. I won’t make that mistake again. (and yes, I realize that they can’t keep every book in the world, but some discard more heavily than others.)

I forgot, the guy I dated after the x-spath is borderline. He is a cutter. Thus, in the span of 6 months I dated a borderline, a sociopath and another borderline. I do know how to pick them, don’t I? All three share one similar trait that would have made me ordinarily dismiss them — heayy drinkers and smokers.

That combination should be a red flag to anyone dating, as 40% of those who are heavy drinkers and smoke have a diagnosable mental health condition. It is particularly true for those with Bipolar Disorder.

Regarding that, my x-spath may have shown some Bipolar traits. One of his best friends is Bipolar and my x-spath did allude to battles with depression.

BBE, I can’t remember where I read it, I think in some of Dr. Leedom’s articles but MANY PSYCHOPATHS are ALSO bi-polar and ADHD as well. So you get the “double or triple whammy” with them.

People who are bi-polar and not medicated have some manic episodes that totally mirror psychopathic behavior and I wouldn’t give you 5 cents for the difference between mania and psychopathic lack of empathy, impulsive behavior and narcissistic behavior. The Trojan Horse psychopath had all 3 plus he was left handed as well and there is a tendency for them to be left handed more than the norm in the general population. My son Patrick is left handed, but I never saw any indication of ADHD in him, but I can’t say about the bi-polar as he has not lived in my home since he was 17 (he just turned 41) and bi-polar doesn’t always show up until the early 20s.

So I really haven’t been around him enough to know if he is bi-polar or even depressive. I know he is totally narcissistic and delusional at times….never crosses his mind that he might get caught in his schemes.

Ox;

I am going to keep an eye out for the left-handed connection. The other night I was talking to somebody who had a very similar situation to myself: meets charming gay man, no rush to sex, but feels he has met a soulmate. This person was honest about once being married and having a child. There was also a pity play regarding some health issues. Unlike with my x-spath, this guy was honest about being HIV+, but implied it was an accident and that he was relatively inexperienced.

The guy I was talking to is studying to be a doctor. For his own reasons, he could not see himself in a relationship with and HIV+ man but wanted to remain friends. Then, online he found out that this guy was not quite so inexperienced as he said. In fact, much like my x-spath, had an online trail full of bareback porn.

In mentioned to this did he ever think this person was a sociopath and he said yes. Then, I upped the ante and told him to objectively take the Hare Checklist and apply it to the gay community as a whole. He was floored.

BBE,
my spath told me he was “a one woman man”. Those were the words he lured me with. NOTHING could be further from the truth.

Once I left him, his friends were quite eager to tell me that he was screwing women all over the place. I had already ascertained that but it was nice to get a confirmation. The thing is though, he was regaling them with stories of his conquests, he wasn’t introducing them to the “women” he was screwing. Why would he WANT everyone of his friends to think he was screwing women?

Because he was screwing children and men. But none of his “friends” knew that.

Only one other person knew he had pedophile tendencies.

And looking back, I realize that my gay friend, K, was constantly dropping hints that my spath was gay.

So, in essence, he only tells people PART of the truth. Whichever mask it suits him to wear at the time.

They all think they’ve been let into “a little secret”, so that it appears he is being forthcoming to them about who he REALLY is. The truth (that he is a psychopath and would screw a toad if it was available) is the one thing he’ll never tell anyone.

My point is, that the “gay community” is not necessarily all “gay”. Just because they’ll screw same sex, doesn’t mean they won’t screw everything else. So that could screw (no pun intended) the numbers.

It seems, also, that gay people who are narcissistic get much more attention than your average quiet gay man or woman living in the country or city. Maybe perceptions of gay people are being skewed by which gay people are making the most noise? These are the ones representing the entire community.

I’m not saying you’re wrong, just saying to have hope.

Skylar;

It does some to be a sociopathic trait to reveal just a bit, like the tip of the iceberg. My x-spath told me that when he first moved to London he was “like a kid in a candy shop.” I joked with him saying “I’m like that in every new city…” and did not think about what he said further. I played no such games with him, going as far as to say that I would expect an attractive, 30-somehting gay male to have some sort of a sexual past.

Thus, we became insulted when I asked him back to my place after a date, I put aside the “kid in the candy shop” comment and thought that maybe this days were long over. Little did I know he had moved on to the buffet serving all you can eat bareback ribs…

BBE, I worked with a pretty large population of gay guys in nursing when i was in Dallas as the night supervisor in a large specialty hospital. I’m not sure that they were “typical” or not, but they were very openly gay and very open about the risky sexual contacts they had, stranger sex in parks etc. This was in the days when hep C was called “non A, non B” hep, and before HIV was widely known. They were frequently getting one STD or another so they knew they were putting their health at risk, but this was their “thing” I don’t know that they were “typical” of gays in general though, they were just the ones that “stuck out.” They were simply I think the “tip of the ice berg” and there are plenty of NON gays who have frequent “unsafe” sex or sex with relative strangers as well.

The easy ability now to have contact with people who are relative strangers for “risky” sex may just be a thing that because the people I knew were gay they were labeled as “how gays act.”

Years ago when I was in my early 20s I lived in Hollywood CA and worked in the production end of motion pictures and the young crowd was pretty much party-hardy type…both gays and straights, and the ones who swung both ways, I also knew a lot of fairly “normal” folks who were married but “swingers” and out for “exciting” sex and “strange.” I knew these people from the apartment buildings where I lived and from my job bringing me into contact with them. People were very open about what they did for the most part. Drugs flowed freely as well. Plus alcohol. It was the 60s so there was a “lot of that” going on. I was a WIDE EYED little girl from Arkansas and I had never been exposed to that kind of life style. I walked the streets of Hollywood and Vine with my mouth hanging open at the sights I saw. LOL ROTFLMAO

Fortunately, I was too much of a prude to engage in the life style but I saw a lot…and got an “education” in pretty much anything you want to imagine. Later after I went into nursing, I knew the gal who was head of the young adult outpatient clinic at Parkland Memorial in Dallas and believe me the stories she told of various and sundry STDs and sexual practices made me shake my head in wonder. Many of the patients she described were gays.

I know other people who are gay, my husband’s granddaughter for one, and she is not at all “wild” or engaging in risky or crazy or random sex, but has a partner that she’s been with for years and they have a normal middle class lifestyle and I have a cousin who is a gay man who was married and had kids, divorced and lived a pretty normal life style as a gay man.

Even though lots of gays seem to me to not be too open about their sexuality, even in these days and times where it isn’t such a “shame” to be gay or lesbian, they are just QUIET about their sexuality. I mean their focus is no more on “being gay” than mine is on “being hetro” I never did get the “gay pride” thing. I don’t feel “hetro pride” so I don’t get the marching and so on. LOL

But the gays who do “stick out” are the ones who seem to me to be “perverted” but I don’t think that they are the ones who are “real” as it were. If that makes any sense to you.

I think the dysfunctional gays may “show up” more because of their behavior but I think that the FUNCTIONAL gays just go on quietly about their lives just like the FUNCTIONAL straights just go on about their lives. those people who are into “kinky sex” or are leading risky and dysfunctional life styles with alcohol and drugs are just the ones who “show up” and stick out of the crowd.

A gal I know who has a family that is more dysfunctional than mine and just as filled with psychopaths has a daughter that just had her first baby at age 40. She had no idea who the father was because she farked everything that had pants on. The gal’s ex husband was what I think is a psychopath and all her kids are pretty much the same way. This woman is not a psychopath but she is a delux version of a victim/enabler. Now she is 65 years old, broke and destitute, living on the kindness of her relatives with NO idea what became of her life. She and her family are what give a bad name to the term “trailer trash.” She has lived, and her kids live, the JERRY SPRINGER LIFE STYLE.

This is the kind of situation that no amount of “education” is going to help. You could read them Donna’s book every night for the rest of their lives and they would NOT get it.

I hope your friend the medical student can “get it” and help himself and his patients to not become victims. It takes a certain amount of smarts and willingness to work hard at learning and changing your own life style if you are involved in dangerous practices. Hare’s check list is an eye opener for sure.

Ox;

I would like to think that and perhaps only living in large cities skews one’s perspective, but given that gays cluster in urban areas, I think the toxic ones in the city far outnumber the normal ones in the country.

Plus, with all the links between left handedness, autism, adhd and homoseuxality, I gotta make the leap to sociopathy…

STDs are one thing, but even when HIV was far less treatable, barebacking continued. And so many are unrepentant.

BBE,

Sorry, but I’m very critical of SATs and their results, especially because most of the schooling done in HS is tailored to the SATS. So, the education is biased towards SATs.

In my country the majority of kids who pass exams are girls over boys. They perform overall better. And our type of education is biased in that it sutis girls more than boys, whether it’s sciences (physics and math) or languages. So they perform better in HS, but after 18 in college, women are a minority in numbers in sciences such as physics and math and engineering. Both statistical effects are because of cultural bias. Obvously the girls would be perfectly capable of succeeding in getting masters in physics, math and engineering, since they win over the boys in HS on those subjects. But women are hardly ever suggested or urged to study hard science, and instead culturally steered towards job-studies outside of hard science.

What you apply your mind too makes your mind for a great deal. Of course there are talents and a potential of what a mind can do maximally. But within that potential a brain can be molded by what its trained in. Spacial math wasn’t my forte as a teen, nor was electronics (the latter was boring to me and I didn’t believe I could understand it). I studied to get a master in industrial design nonetheless, where I had to make models based on ideas in my head and had to put on paper. I have no problem whatsoever now understanding space math. I did a “brain gender” test on the BBCwebsite just a couple of months ago (words, numbers, turned objects, etc)… I scored the female average on the language part, but I scored 100% on the space part (seeing an example object, and finding its twin turned in space). It was actually the sole part of the test I scored 100%. And this is because my mind was trained to do this. As for electronics… Just a couple of years ago I knew I was fully able to understand it if I just applied my mind to it. Heck, I even had to teach it already. I found it actually very simple, not difficult at all. But when I think of the electronics related to jobs my mind automatically conjures men doing those jobs. The depth and the impact of cultural gender thinking is underestimated a lot. Gender expectations are so ingrained in our daily lives, in our education, in depictions, in how and what we communicate that it’s nearly impossible for our children to escape from it.

The test was case in point… the culturally biased neurological findings on gender were openly used to determine whether my mind was ‘male’ or ‘female’, thereby enforcing gender thinking on what a test person’s minds are supposed to be good at. It hardly even bothered me much, until I thought about it again today. A good book to understand how deep some prejudices are ingrained in ourselves and shape our minds is the book ‘Blink’.

Overall that those tests and scans prove is that the brain develops differently within women and men, exactly according to the cultural bias of what those minds are supposed and expected to be good at. Take a total different culture, with total different gender expectations, and you get the same “gender” development according to that cultural bias.

BBE, most of the gays I knew were in Los Angeles CA and in Dallas TX and actually I don’t know a great many gays here except in the university setting where they seem to be more visible. I only know of a few openly gay men here in my rural area (where it would be more frowned upon or at least gossiped about) My cousin who is gay is a university prof, before his retirement, and he doesn’t “flaunt” it, but everyone knows. He is well respected in the community though.

Sky and Oxy,

I have the same experience with the gays I know. They’re not secretive about it, but don’t flaunt it either. A lot of people hardly ever realize that they’re gay, because they don’t fit the stereotype of a “queer” gay. They’re just people who happen to fall in love with the same gender, and they don’t fall in love with someone of the opposite sex. I actually know more everyday gays than the stereotypical ones. And I’m so sure that there’s nothing sociopathic about my best friend and his family that I asked him to be a donor for the fertilization processes I plan to start this year. Chances are bigger imo in getting “bad genes” from an anonymous donor than him.

Darwinsmom,

I have a married friend who had to use a donor and they used one that they didn’t know through an IVF clinic. I’m not sure I wouldn’t be like you and want to know the person I used. Not only for medical reasons (diabetes etc) but for psychopathic background as well.

If I knew then what I know now about genetics of psychopathy, I never would have had children. I realize there are no “perfect” genetics but if I were planning a child I would want to know the person’s family psych history as well as physical medical history. Not only wanting to know the person, but what their parents were like as well, and their sibs too.

Well, I’m off to bed. See you guys tomorrow.

I am looking for some advice. There is no doubt in my mind, my son-in-law is a sociopath. Here’s some history: He met woman #1 and married her, lived with her parents, and had a baby. While he was with her, he met woman #2, moved in with her, and had another baby. While he was with her, he met my daughter, moved in with her 10 years ago. At that time, my daughter was in graduate school, so she used school loans and a part-time job to pay living expenses, while he worked occasionally as a DJ at a club. Over these ten years, he has worked a total of less than six months. When my daughter started teaching, he controlled all the money and credit cards and finances. They had a small apartment with used furniture, although they slept on a pullout couch because for years they had no bedroom set until his mother made it possible for them to get one. He told everyone he was an entrepreneur, and looked it because my daughter sold her car so he could drive a BMW, and had suits in every color, while the only clothes she had were clothes I would buy for her. He scammed five people (that I know of) and never paid any of them back, one of which was his best friend that he scammed out of over $50,000. Now the ex-friend and his wife are each working two jobs to pay this money back and my son-in-law doesn’t care.

My daughter has worked hard her whole life and continues to live as a pauper. She gave up her car and her phone so he could have what he wanted. He has lived off of many people, including me. I went out to dinner with them countless times, and he ordered the most expensive thing on the menu and never offered me a dime. He wants gifts, but doesn’t want to give. They went to 7 weddings and didn’t give a gift because he said he didn’t have the money. His mother gave him $20,000 to help him out last year when my daughter went on child care leave, and he blew through that in no time, even though they moved into his mother’s basement and only had to pay her $100 monthly. Prior to that, they were evicted from their apartment, had the BMW repossessed, and he talked my daughter into declaring bankruptcy so they could get a fresh start. He had declared bankruptcy and had a previous repossession before my daughter met him. Since my daughter has been on child care leave, they lived on food stamps, received their health insurance from the government, and everyone else has clothed the baby, and he doesn’t care. He had a job for a short time last year, but I assume he was fired, because I was told he was under investigation by the company. And while my daughter was on leave and he didn’t work, and he had a wife and 3 kids he should have been supporting, he went to Texas for 3 weeks and told my daughter his friend was paying for the entire trip, was in NYC for various weeks stating he was working on his music, and just got back from Miami a couple of weeks ago and tonight is in NYC—always stating others are paying his expenses, while she sits in that basement with no money in her pocket. He didn’t file tax returns until just recently when the government finally caught up with them, although all this time, he told my daughter he had an accountant that was taking care of everything. When I took my daughter on a little mini vacation a week after he spent a week in NYC, he gave her $15 for her trip. Another thing, he is obsessed with power and authority. I rode in the car with him for 3 hours and he kept playing the song If I Could Rule the World, over and over again”..nonstop”..no exaggeration. He’s always out, but she doesn’t think he would ever cheat on her, although when he is around other women, he stares at them continually—.everybody notices this but her. He is so over the top charming to my daughter, it’s unbelievable, but she believes all his stories, no matter how crazy they are.

My daughter will be going back to work soon, so I am sure she will be supporting him all over again. She was having some doubts about him a few months back”.first time ever. However, then he found a job, still no benefits, and now he’s just as charming as ever, as he still continues to do everything he wants to do, while she is home with the baby and has no money. Not only does he know she is going back to work soon, but her father recently died and left her some money. I haven’t said a word about him to her in a while, but the other day she brought him up telling me she really wanted her marriage to work and did not want her son to grow up without a father, and that she and he were meeting with their priest and a psychologist and working things out. She wants me to meet with the priest and them also. She told me that the Bible says we shouldn’t judge and I told her that I think God wants us to discern good from evil and that her husband does a lot of evil things. I told her I am praying constantly for him and for the entire situation. She said God says we should forgive. I know this, but it is soooo hard when he just continues to deceive her and others in so many ways. If I meet and spill my guts in front of him (and her), I fear what would happen. My daughter may never talk to me again, although after this conversation with her the other day, she is not talking to me. And what would she have to go through with him as a result of it. A social worker told me never, ever confront him. I could use some advice from anyone who has some. Thank you for taking the time to read this. There is so much more to tell, but it’s so very long already. Thank you so much for your feedback.

I am not saying that all gays are sociopathic. I certainly don’t fit the stereotypes and while I have my relationship difficulties at least it is something I strive for. But take my word for it, you would be appalled at what you would read even on with is considered to be the most “vanilla” gay message board. Also, look at gay “pride” parades vs. that of any other group or organization. IMHO, its hard to be proud of any community that primarily celebrates sex, partying and narcissism.

darwinsmom;

“Overall that those tests and scans prove is that the brain develops differently within women and men, exactly according to the cultural bias of what those minds are supposed and expected to be good at. Take a total different culture, with total different gender expectations, and you get the same “gender” development according to that cultural bias.’

This is a point worth considering. What country are you from?

Scaredmom,
so sorry to tell you, but yes, I think he is a spath.
All the red flags are there. Particularly the parasitical and irresponsible flags.

The social worker is right: do NOT confront him. It is dangerous.

I’m sorry that your relationship with your daughter has deteriorated. She is mesmerized and can’t see the truth. This look/feels like love to her.

About the only thing I can think of that you can do, is to hire a private detective to follow him around and find out EXACTLY all the dirt on him. Then you have to wait for JUST the right moment to use it.

You have to wait because, spaths KNOW that no matter what they do, we always forgive them and take them back. The setting has to be just right so that your daughter will have the strength to resist.

I will give you an example from my own life.
I left my spath 3 times in 25 years and finally went NC.
The third time worked for several reasons.
1. A stranger explained what a psychopath was and told me which book to read.
2. My parents finally told me what they knew about him. They had overheard him SAY, that he was only with me for my money – 25 years earlier!
3. When I knew he was lying, I didn’t tell him everything I knew and I was able to watch how UTTERLY CONVINCINGLY the lies fell from his lips. I realized that when he said, “I love you,” it sounded so real, so true and heart felt, that nobody would doubt it. Yet it was an absolute total lie. He was plotting to kill me.

The point is, that the truth has to juxtaposed with his lying words, in JUST the right way, that it breaks up the cognitive dissonance. First, she must be aware of what a psychopath looks like. She has to know the red flags.

I would seriously recommend Donna’s most recent book to her. I’m reading it right now and it is probably the best book out there for breaking up cognitive dissonance in regards to psychopaths.

I do hope you can help her. It’s heartbreaking to know how many people are being destroyed by spaths.

Scaredmom,

I agree with Skylar that he is a parasite and probably a psychopath, I also think he is cheating on your daughter…..and financially abusing her.

The problem is until your daughter sees that, there really is nothing you can do.

I would decline to “spill your guts” with or without the psychologist or priest.

Forgiveness does NOT include allowing someone to repeatedly abuse you, lie to you…etc. and yes we are give the good sense (I hope) to discern when a person is doing bad things, and while she may want her marriage to “work” it is NOT working because HE IS NOT WORKING. After 10 years it should be apparent that he is NOT going to work.

There are several good articles here about how to support someone who is under the spell of the psychopath, but we can’t make them leave until THEY see the truth.

Keep on praying. My son stayed with one for 7 years until she tried to kill him and ended up going to jail. I just had to keep my mouth shut. Even when he caught her cheating he “forgave” until she tried to help her BF kill him.

I agree, do not confront him, he will only drive a wedge between you and her and until SHE is ready. God bless.

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