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The sociopath’s predatory stare, revisited

I was recently asked to comment on the sociopath’s “predatory stare,” and my first thought was to play it down somewhat. Not all sociopaths have this stare, or else it would be pretty easy to bust them for the “look.”

On the other hand there’s a form of the “predatory stare” that I want to remark on briefly in this short article that signals my return to the blog, again, on a more regular basis. It is really the “predatory stare,” but masked as the “romantic stare.”

Again, not all sociopaths deploy the “romantic stare,” let’s not kid ourselves. But some do.  I’ve worked with many woman (and a few men) who can attest to it, and I’m sure many of you have had experience with it.

What is it? And what is its purpose?

It is an intense stare, a stare of very intense concentration the sociopath fixes on you, whose effect is at once unsettling and stimulating. It isn’t meant so much to be experienced as a “stare” as much as, well, an “experience.”

The sociopath wants you to experience him as experiencing you as the sole concern and interest in his universe. He is transmitting to you what he wants you to experience as his voracious interest in, and concentration on, you.

As I said, one is likely to experience this as both disconcerting and seductive. Why? Well, we are not used to experiencing ourselves as so totally captivating to another. So it’s a somewhat heady, exciting feeling to experience ourselves as engendering, seemingly, such a romantically hypnotic effect on another.

It is safe to say that the sociopath is in his grooming, seductive mode here.  The imperturbability and fixity of his gaze is as if communicating, “I am totally into you. Totally. I can’t even take my eyes off you, that’s how totally into you I am.

“Even though what I’m doing, in truth, is a form of my manipulating and controlling you, yet I want you to experience this as a case of your controlling me!

“I want to you to experience me as so enthralled with you, with the magical effect your beauty, voice, face, style has on me, that it’s as if I literally can’t take my voracious, probing eyes off you!

“And so, as I gaze at you with this intense, almost unblinking, laser-like attentiveness, I want you to experience me as helpless to do otherwise. That’s how powerfully, helplessly attracted I want you to experience me as!”

I italicize “as if” because many sociopaths, as we know, are“as if” personalities—often acutely focused on creating the right “effects” to support the perceptions of themselves they’re seeking to establish.

Now this doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful and don’t deserve to be looked at with genuine admiration, maybe even awe. But when that gaze is unbroken, sustained for too long, to the extent that you are feeling uncomfortable with, even if a bit excited by, its intense, probing scrutiny, take heed.

He may be staring into the face a very beautiful woman; you may be staring into the face of a sociopath.

(This article is copyrighted © 2011 by Steve Becker, LCSW. My use of male gender pronouns is strictly for convenience’s sake and not to suggest that females aren’t capable of the attitudes and behaviors discussed.)

 

 


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This completely makes sense for me now. My ex spath didn’t stare at me in an angry way, but I did catch him staring at me as I slept. It happened a few times and I asked him what he was doing and he said, “He didn’t want to close his eyes because he didn’t want to wake up if I was a dream.” He said he couldn’t believe I was really there with him. At the time, I thought it was the most romantic jesture I had ever experienced. Someone was that into me, that in love with me that he couldn’t take his eyes off of me. He just loved me so much that he loved watching me sleep. Now I completely get that it was a tool in his manipulation bag.

Another time, we were at his campground in the middle of the night. We were the only ones there. He stared deep into my eyes and told me to open my mouth. He then blew a deep breath into my mouth and told me to breathe into his. It didn’t feel right, and I pulled away. He said he just wanted us to be a part of each other, to make us one. This is the same guy who was so confused about how he felt about me and didn’t want to be in a relationship.

It is all making so much sense now. I am getting the creeps just thinking about it.

Dear Steve,

I agree with your analysis of the “love look” of the psychopath—but the psychopaths that I have known have also used the “intense stare” as a form of intimidation as well.

I felt as if I was looking into the eyes of “Satan himself,” for lack of a better description.

I’ve had people look at me with an intense angry look, that did not even approach the “LOOK” of the psychopath. I’ve had people so angry with me they wanted to throttle me, but even those “looks” were benign compared to the LOOK of the psychopath.

There was a famous photo (also frequently re-printed) of Charlie Manson as he was arrested and led away with the INTENSE PSYCHOPATHIC LOOK that I am trying to “describe” that I think is THE BEST photograph I have ever seen of THE LOOK. Since Words fail me to describe it, I think to mention that photograph is the best I can do. Good article.

Sisterhood

Please tell me why this is all making sense now. I would like to understand it.

How is it making sense that he didn’t want to be in a relationship and wanted to breathe deep into your mouth. ?

I want to hear the logic.

Superkid

Superkid-It makes sense to me now because that experience was always a little weird to me and I never really understood why. When I heard about the psychopathic stare before, it was always in the context of rage or anger that is evil. I didn’t equate that the stare could also be a “romantic” manipulation.

The breathing in the mouth thing was, I think, his way of trying to have me believe that we were forming some sort of deep bond. When in reality it was just a calculated manipulation. During that time frame, he would repeadedly tell me he wasn’t ready for a relationship. But then he would pull stuff like this to throw me off. It was a total mind f to keep me attached. He never felt anything deep or bonding with me. He would tell me he loved me and that he had loved me for as long as he could remember, but that still didn’t make me good enough to be his girlfriend. He wanted his cake and eat it too. Total manipulation in a very sinister way.

I hope I clarified this for you.

The night I met my x-spath, he was staring at me from across the room. Within minutes of going over and talking to him, I was made uncomfortable by his intense gaze into my eyes.

I not only mistook his stare for deep interest in me, I also mistook my discomfort as a sign there was something wrong with me!

His stare is evident in most pictures of him. Also, in many pictures, he has a look that can best be described as “cat that swallowed the canary” or something to that nature and when you look at him, there is something disturbing about him that is very hard to quantify.

Just to add to this…I think what made that moment of the breathing thing so akward was that is was almost like a set-up. It didn’t happen naturally -like we were kissing and then just playing around. He actually made a minor production out of it. Like I said, it felt really weird. And that memory stayed with me for some reason 17 years later. Hmmm.

He did not want a relationship but you were with him 17 years?

I’m sorry, I never really did tell my story on here so I guess I must come off confusing. I broke it off with him 16 years ago. It was during our time together that this and other more horrible things happened. I just thought that this particular article struck a nerve with me because I never thought of those “staring’ experiences as more proof that he is, indeed, disordered. Now it is more clear than ever that he is disordered.

I”m hoping to get my full story on here soon. There is just so much to cover and I had only, 2 years ago, “Woke Up”. I had no idea that for the 16 years since my experience with my ex spath that I was suffering from CPTSD. I am seeing a therapist who first gave me information about personality disorders and pegged my ex as a NPD. I have since been reassured by Donna, after telling her my story, that my ex is indeed a Sociopath.

All I can say is that I was deeply used and manipulated by him in some very cruel ways. My self esteem was so low and I found myself trauma bonded to him. Again, I had no idea what all these terms were or what the heck was happening to me at the time. I thought, and was made to believe, that it was all my fault. It wasn’t until many years later, after being triggered by a run-in with a mutual friend of my ex spaths, that I really started to suffer a breakdown. I had shoved the experience and the emotions so far down, I never dealt with them in a healthy way. I went and got help immediately after I realized that I was in deep trouble. Through my research on Narcissism, I eventually found LF.

And for that, I am truly grateful.

I always thought that his stare was his love for me, boy was I wrong. I recall the first time he stared at me, I was lying in bed and we were watching TV together, he stared at me and I turned to him and said ‘stop” and covered myself, I felt embarassed because I did not know how and what I felt, should I be flattered, then why was I so uncomfortable ? He laughed, and was very amused. He told me how he loved staring at me, and loved my modesty. I am not sure it was modesty….at the time I did not know what it was. He was always complimenting me, and love bombing me. Months after I accepted his proposal of marriage….he never let up till I said yes. I never knew what this stare was all about till now. I just had a “aha” moment.
Now I need feedback from all of you….not sure if its something you all had encountered. He hated having pictures taken….just simply hated it. If we did take a picture, it was reluctantly. Our wedding pictures where a chore to him, not sure why he hated it so much. Never liked smiling, he was handsome so he always came out good anyway. He always like pictures of him kneeling in front of me, like he adored me. Holding my hand while kissing it, he seemed like such a romantic….my bridesmaids could not get over how nice he was, and how he adored me, and of course how it showed on all the pictures…..little did I know. So does this mean that he hated pictures or reflections like a vampire hates them ?

Sisterhood

Oh my god. I get it now, yes.

I just saw my story in yours. My spath said he loved me too. And felt absolutely no bond.

Geez, I guess I needed you to point this out for me to see it.

Ugh.

Survivorlady and All,

No one really knows why these freaks have the little quirks they have. Best ‘guess’, since most all of what they do is about having control and power, is that only HE could say when anything happened.

The spaths I have known want to control everything. If they are in a situation they want to run that situation, and they don’t want any surprises. They want as much control as possible so they can manage their image and effect on the environment.

Sounds like he only wanted pictures that helped prop up his fake persona of the romantic, smitten, devoted man.

One of the guys I know was just like that. He made sure he ‘staged’ everything, so any image that was captured of him made him look like the happiest person alive, who was doing AMAZING things.

He also did all this staring nonsense. I made the mistake that BBE’s did: even though this staring and whatnot made me terribly uncomfortable I thought it was because I was being too uptight and too ‘unevolved’ and uncool. Hanging with spaths brings up all your unresolved junior high school insecurities!!!!

Sisterhood brought up the silly breathing bonding her spath tried to pull. The nutbag I knew did the same kinds of things. Like the first time he ‘let me into’ in bedroom. I had to stand at the threshold and take some silly moment to acknowledge the sacredness of his personal space, and that he was letting me in. I remember feeling crazy uncomfortable.

The point is they always assert control. Not one single one of them I have known hasn’t done this.

Hello all,
Mine had a stare while I was talking with her. She stared at me intently and I stared back at her, like I was trying to memorize her face…Huh..wonder why.

I only saw the mask slip one time. She was coming out of the basement with her laudry and me and husband where walking toward her. The pure hatred in her eyes..made me upset, but what I did was laugh at her. She just soooo Su**ked!..I still can’t stand her. I hope she gets arrested for SOMETHING!!

Superkid,

They never mean they love you. They tell you they love you so they can get close, get what they want, and build up more credentials for their false selves. Period.

Geez, I had Mr. Polyamory telling me he had never been monogamous with anyone. That I was that special someone. That he was interested in getting married, and that had ‘never felt so safe’ with anyone before. His being monogamous for 7 months was ‘proof’ of his love and devotion.

Course that was as long as it lasted, then he needed to go out alone, and started grooming a bunch of other women, without telling me. Even though his own ‘polyamorous creed’ was to be honest and inclusive if another relationship was going to be started.

It was all just another philosophy that he borrowed and used to confuse his victims….so he could get away with murder.

Mine told me that I was the first one who stepped out on his wife with-because he had never met anyone like me in his life and he never connected so completely with anyone. He told me that I was the ONE he was always looking for. It turns out I was the fourth affair that he had on her. If I had known that I wouldn’t have gotten close to him. I fell for the first line above. I won’t touch another man with a ten foot pole. How does a guy do that to a woman, that until that point considered herself a lesbian? Surprise-turns out I still am-so I don’t understand HOW in the world all that happened.

Survivorlady- My ex spath hated when I would take pictures of him. We were in Paris together (another long story) and we were in front of the Louvre. I saw some people and asked them to take a picture of us. My ex spath started an argument with me and was acting like a complete baby because I had asked them to take a picture. There were several other times on that trip where he didn’t want me to take pictures of him. For the longest time I couldn’t understand this. My therapist thinks that it was because he knew that he wasn’t going to stay with me. He was already thinking ahead and had other plans in his mind. He didn’t want any “romantic’ pictures as evidence of his time with me.

Slimone is right. They do all of these crazy making little things to maintain control. Hindsight is 20/20 for me, but at least I can really see it now. It is such a burden lifted from me. Whew!!

As I read the comments from the others on here, I want to throw up.

Sisterhood:

My ex spath did the same *exact* breathing-bonding thing with me that you described in such detail that I wondered if we were actually talking about the same sick man. I can remember looking into his eyes and feeling scared and almost drained, I can’t really explain it. This may sound very strange, but I had thoughts that he looked lizard like, but I also read here some where on LF that they can sometimes have the look of a reptile. I also remember discerning something very troubling about his soul… I don’t want to sound like I’m completely nuts, but I remember thinking that it was ancient… Not in a good “old soul” kind of way, but something sinister was attached to it. I can’t explain it all. He did tell me after this experience with him that I was just a scared little chicken, afraid to let him love me. This was a common theme with him. It was my intuition, I now believe, trying to alert me to the fraud in front of me. I continually allowed this monster to override my intuition. I too have CPTSD, but I had this prior to meeting him. And of course, he did contribute to more trauma.

Survivorlady:

I experienced the same resistance to photos with my ex-spath, too. And like slimone, if he submitted to photos, they were staged, like the ones he took with the birth of our daughter. He wanted to portray himself as the doting, adoring dad. In reality, within days of bringing my little angel home, he threw my ailing, elderly 5 lb dog into another room and pushed me (with a new c-section, thank you) when I went berserk at seeing what he did to my dog. Within a only a few days of being home with my daughter and c-section, he was coming home after work, allowing me to shower, and then surfing till dark every single night. Some adoring dad! Most of the pictures he has allowed to be taken of him did not show him looking directly into the camera. There was always something very strange about his eyes in the few photos that I did take. I’m currently debating if I even save the photos of him with my daughter for her when she’s older. There are some really lovely ones at the beach, but I can’t unknow what I know about him. And I hesitate to show her those staged images of him, portrayed as the loving dad, and not the man who left her uncared for while using drugs and having sex with other women in my bed while I was at work and he was supposed to be watching her. This is turning into a rant! I really need a different therapist who will focus more on the psychological trauma I experienced with this a-hole.

LPMarie13- Oh my God! I have major chills runing up and down my body right now. I’m physically ill. Holy S*#t, This makes it even more real for me. Oh my God I was involved with a Sociopath. I am in tears writing this. I too, tought my ex spaths face looked strange that night of the “breathing”.

He was only 22 years old. How did he learn this? Is this an innate quality? He was a “good” kid. Never got into trouble with the law, had a genious I.Q. and was just a “regular” kid from the neighborhood. He had a horribly dysfunctional home life, but his Sociopathy didn’t show up, (at least that I know of) until his late teens, early twenties. Is this “normal” for the spath to not show signs of “spathy” behavior until they are older?

Yes Marie, the feelings of that night are flooding back to me. I remember being scared by his stare. I even told him that he was creeping me out. At the time, I just thought it was because we were in a dark campground all alone. Did I actually stare evil in the face that night? The chills are so strong right now…

The eye’s don’t lie. He could say ” I love you ‘ with no emotion, same with the eye’s, no emotion, like he was trying to say the things he thought he should, to keep me hooked, but I never felt love when he said it, it was more like ” I got you hooked ‘ big empty look..
However his eye’s did sparkle and I did get that I love you stare when 100% of my attention was going to him and his need’s, BUT his personality or demeanor would also change into that little boy thing…But for the most part his eyes were empty, cold, emotionless, he looked bored most of the time..
I bet he is so happy to be done with me, poor kid..oh wait he is 47 – guess he was a poor kidder…

Hey Hens!

Hey Lizzy – How’s Morris?

His name is Remy and he is adorable and a little naughty. He has taken to climbing up real high and then looking at me like WTF-how do I get down. He also likes to put his paws in my hair and play with it, and then eats my curls. I’m gonna be bald soon!

“There were several other times on that trip where he didn’t want me to take pictures of him. For the longest time I couldn’t understand this. My therapist thinks that it was because he knew that he wasn’t going to stay with me. He was already thinking ahead and had other plans in his mind. He didn’t want any “romantic’ pictures as evidence of his time with me.”

There are no pictures of me and my x-spath. He told me that he did not like to have his picture taken. I was not on FB when I met him, but after the fact I did find him there and there are are many pictures of him. Thus, for whatever reason, he was lying to me.

Interestingly, to this day, his FB profile picture is one taken the day we met… What’s that all about????

Sisterhood,

Some children start acting out very young, but many psychopaths “blossom” out fully at puberty. Most start before age 18, but that doesn’t mean they are CRIMINAL per se, they may keep it under the legal liine, may keep it “relational” and “use” people on a personal level in relationships.

Some may do crimes, stealing, drugs, violence etc. but only a portion of psychiopath are usually criminal in a big way.

Some are WELL MASKED and it is difficult to see the real person behind the mask very often or very easily.

Ox;

You and I both agree that Hare puts much to much emphasis on criminal behavior and juvenile trouble and too little emphasis on interpersonal interaction, honesty, truthfulness and empathy.

BBE, The “definition” of what is truly a (What?–they still haven’t agreed on the name for it yet!) is evolving and hopefully there will be some progress made in the lastest DSM, but I always say a “camel is a horse designed by a committee” everyone has to put their hump on the beast and he comes out lookings pretty crazy and not real functional. We can only wait and see what this next one says.

Committees can’t design much by having to have a concensus, and I think that’s the problem with the DSMs.

Since at this point in science this is an intellectual construct not a disease that can have a blood test done on diagnosing it, there is always going to be some slack in the formal diagnosis.

Hi Oxy,

Plus, there is the very legitimate objection that the DSM’s “Anti Social Personality Disorder” focuses almost exclusively on “CRIMINALITY,” as opposed to those less easily quantifiable “Sociopathic character traits” (lack of human affect, absence of empathy, conscience, etc.).

In my view, there are some important problems with this approach. Number one is that 75% of criminals are NOT sociopaths (or at least not psychopaths, per the PCL-R); and conversely, many (perhaps most) sociopaths/psychopaths are NOT criminals – at least in the ordinary sense of the word. The importance of this distinction becomes even more crucial when it comes to things like parole boards. (And I believe you know something about this, Oxy!) By lumping everyone equally under the headings of “criminality” and “anti-social conduct,” it’s very difficult to determine, for example, who might be a good case for “rehabilitation and release” and who is not. (Not that I’m much of a believer in either! But with the psychopath these things are complete “pipe dreams,” whereas you at least have a gambler’s chance with the non-psychopathic criminal.)

Moreover, “ASPD” is rather insulting to those of us who know bloody damn well that many of the greatest “crimes” have nothing to do with technical “law-breaking”!

In short, I think the DSM people are going to end up missing the “existential essence” of this disorder, simply because that essence doesn’t lend itself to easy classification. (To be sure, “predatory stares,” “love-bombing,” “moral imbecility,” pathological lying, etc, have no place on a conventional “rap sheet.”) In many ways they seem even to be dissolving the very concept of “psychopath” and “sociopath,” in favor of something essentially synonymous with “career criminal” – a huge misfortune, in my opinion

Wow, what an outstanding explanation of the stare. My ex had this in flying colors, and so did at least 1 other spath I got entangled with….oh, and so did my P father. He would actually shout at me, “LOOK INTO MY EYES!” If I looked away for even one moment, he’d shout it again. Then, as I forced myself to look into his ICE cold blue eyes, he’d begin to threaten me.

This line: “I want you to experience me as helpless to do otherwise. That’s how powerfully, helplessly attracted I want you to experience me as!”

YES YES YES! Talk about manipulation!!!!!!!

However, I would like to make a note: I have a STARE as well. I’ve been told about this by many people, and I am aware of it as well. Just as some spaths don’t have the stare, I think some non-spaths might be the “fixating” type with the way they look at things. I tend to stare a long time at something when I don’t completely understand it. I ended up staring right back at my ex many times with an expression that looked quite probing, because I was trying to “get to the bottom” of his ways. The difference would be that a spath does this to mimic intense concentration while others might actually be experiencing intense concentration and therefore focus on something visually as a way to try and analyze what they are seeing.

Hi Steve,
Good subject . i was in the local bar this evening with a friend . As we sat down my friend happened to notice that the woman at the next table was his accountants secretary . He distracted her from her date and said hi etc . I was ammediately aware of this womans charm as we all introduced ourselves . She was beautifull , she appeared to be about maybe 30 years old and wore very litttle makeup . Her date appeared to be in his early 30s . I Had never met this woman before . Now what was it about this woman that had me thinking psychopath . Initially I think I instinctively picked up on the psychopath vibe , which then of course had me wondering if I was just imagining it . I then found myself questioning my own perception , but at the same time I was also watching for signals that would indicate that my perception was correct .
Since I was the only stranger to her in the immediate circle , it only took a couple of minutes before she was asking me what I did for a living . The group continued talking for maybe 5 minutes . Their food arrived and that was basically the end of the conversation . In the positions that we sat all I had to do was turn my head slightly to the right and I was looking directly at her . Her date had his back to me . As the evening progressed I became fascinated by the interaction between this woman and her date . She seemed to be totally absorbed in her date , which ofcourse one would perhaps expect , however there were things about her facial expressions that I remembered all to well from my own experience with a female psychopath . At this point me and my friend talked about work etc and from time to time I glanced over at the suspected psychopath pondering my perception . I began to ask myself questions . What am I seeing here ?, what is it that instinctively told me that she was a psychopath and what would I see that would confirm to me that she was indeed a psychopath ? . Her expressions were very obvious . The stare that she gave her date seemed to transcend her somewhat animated expressions . She never took her eyes off him . Some of her expressions were quite subtle but all very controlled . Every now and again I noticed a somewhat agitated expression creep into her face that qickly disolved into something more matter of fact or cute in nature . As I am writing this it suddenly occured to me that what was interesting about her expressions was that they were always changing but the stare remained the same . The stare was always there . As far as I could tell she did not notice me studying her , she was too preoccupied with her victim . Eventually they finished their food and got up too leave . She did not engage us in any kind of conversation . Her date however turned and said good night and off they went . After they left I asked my friend if he thought she was a psychopath . He wasn’t really sure but he proceeded to tell me what he knew about her , which wasn’t really much . As far as he knew she was over 50 which amazed me as she certainly did not look it . In the past I had been well aware of psychopathic women looking way younger than their age but hadn’t really thought about it untill he mentioned it . My own X psychopathic partner at 45 could pass for 25 any day of the week . No wrinkles . The whole psychopathic subject never ceases to amaze me . If you don’t believe in aliens , I tend to think that maybe they arrived long ago and they are definitley preditorial in nature and they are all around us …………….cheers

HAS ANYONE NOTICED THE OPPOSITE? My ex-spath could NOT sustain eye contact for more than a few seconds.

Just look at the eyes of Ramie Marston in the “Day in Court” article. C-R-A-Z-Y!

interesting about the “reptilian” look. I sometimes “see things” in my mind’s eye when I’m talking to people — can’t really explain what this is when it happens to me, but I am looking at someone, and then it is as though in the background of my mind, I see something different.

So, about 2 month ago at the CPS-mandated family therapy, I had this strange experience: my ex-spath’s wife (of 5 years) was talking. She was doing a blame-shifting type of thing, making up a story or using small bits of truth to concoct a self-serving explanation for something she had done, when I all of sudden saw her as a slithering snake, with very glittery scales. I actually saw her as a snake. It was a very weird type of vision, I had a strong sense of revulsion and at the same time I became acutely aware of exactly what she was attempting to do (shift blame onto me, deflecting attention away from her true nature and manipulations).

But it has been a number of years for me (that I have been dealing with this kind of s**t), so it didn’t feel too personal — even though she was attempting to cut through my defenses and wound me or enthrall the room, she did not succeed. My kids and I all saw right through her.

It is interesting, what we see and what we “see” in our mind’s eye — often two very different things, but I think our inner wisdom finds a way to poke through and show us the truth.

Also… there are apparently some types of meditation which can lead to the ability to maintain gazing for long periods of time. I know NOTHING about this, but just wanted to mention it. The “stare” coupled with the strange breathing thing, sounds like your spath had maybe dipped into this….? I think it is very manipulative and powerful/hypnotic, and I am also wondering if, between two lovers who are NOT sociopathic, if gazing into each other’s eyes is a nice thing, not a red flag thing…? And how would we know?

Hi Hens! Your first comment – “The eye’s don’t lie. He could say ” I love you ’ with no emotion, same with the eye’s, no emotion, like he was trying to say the things he thought he should, to keep me hooked, but I never felt love when he said it, it was more like ” I got you hooked ’ big empty look” DEAD ON! No emotion with his eyes – EVER! He would tell me he loved me, I was the love of his life, but his eyes never revealed that…they were dead, lifeless, revealing.

When I got “the stare”, I would typically (eventually) look at him and say “what?” He would reply with “Nothing baby, I just like what I see”

UGH!!! Of course he did, because there was no “love”, for him it was all physical attraction. That’s all it was to him…purely physical!

STEVE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SO GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK !!!!!! I’ve been looking every week for your writings and FINALLY you’ve surfaced !!!

This is truly a very unsettling experience – always when he was trying to find his way back in he would play this game .

However, the majority of time – even intimate time – he never looked me in the eye. Never kissed me – not even what I would call a carress. BUT – the last time he left and came back – the seductive look was so compelling – I even remarked how intense he was – that he never looked me in the eyes- nevermind so intently. He said he was aware of that – but now – well things were different. Yeah – right !!!

Your article explains it – he was out to get himself back in the door – and he did.

But the ending was inevitable – as we all here know – they just can’t keep up the act for long.

This blog topic and subsequent comments and a-ha reveleations is one of the best I’ve ever read on Love Fraud. I want to refer my therapist to the site. She just might be openminded and savvy enough to see value in getting the extra training to be able to truly help survivors like us. Unfortunately, it does take additional training and extra time. There are so many people who just don’t “get” our description and experiences with the s-p-path. It sounds so bizzare and unreal…unless you have actually been w/one. It also sounds like WE are the ones who are a little off. GRRRR! this is making me angry…and strangely…feeling ashamed of what happened to me.

Emi: “It also sounds like WE are the ones who are a little off.”

I completely agree with you and I am still trying to figure out how to explain any aspect of this without sounding paranoid delusional and like I am just a “hater” or something. People on LF get it. To other people, we’re “dramatizing” the situation. Our inability to get over it hints that WE are somehow flawed in our ability to heal, rather than that the wounds are as “dramatic” as we say they are. It’s almost as though nobody really wants to know that evil exists, so they would much rather just assume you are nuts.

Panther;

Upon the advice of Ox Drover, I mentioned to my psychologist that I still thought about my x-spath far too much, even though a) it has been nearly three years; b) i really did not know him very long.

His explanation is that at the time I was needy and the x-spath filled a void, since I had health problems and had been illegally terminated from my job.

There was much turmoil in my life including major surgery, a legal action against my former employer, moving, just to name a few. While I am in OK financial shape for the foreseeable future, until I have full-time employment there is going to be ample time to think about the x-spath and other negative aspects of my life.

However, I still don’t think my psychologist really understands the impact of an encounter with a sociopath, even a short-term one. So, for the benefit of all here is my best and honest assessment of me:

1) I met the x-spath at a time when I was very needy and continued to see him despite many red flags.

2) He used manipulative behaviors to make me think he was “specially” and that I had really met a “soul mate.”

3) Because of one fateful night in the hospital, he became my caretaker.

4) His manipulations were so effective I thought he was honest, caring, mature, reserved and stable at a time when my life might have appeared to be “out of control.” Thus, I thought I deserved to be dumped, but was determined to remain a friends.

5) About two weeks after his “let’s be friends” email, I can across a profile of his on a dating website. This led to a trail of other profiles on both dating and porn websites. From these, I learned that he was not what he presented to me. In fact, he was quite the opposite. This discovery was another in a series of WTF moments that provide fuel for rumination.

6) His online trail also led me to conclude he was HIV+, thus providing even more fuel for rumination.

7) I was unemployed, clinically depressed and my health situation did not allow me to engage in my main hobby and social outlet, bicycling. Thus, even more time for thought.

While I met more than my fair share of men since the x-spath including at least 5 who seriously wanted to date me, three of whom might even had been in love with me, I have not met anyone who had the “nominal” qualities of the x-spath.

Thankfully, I can honestly say I do think about him much less and most important, I do not have any emotional feelings for him.

Constantine, very good points!

EVERYONE!!! Good to see so many old friends back posting!

Steve, see what you pulled out of the woodwork with your great article!!!!

When i was a kid my mom taught us staring is rude. It is, socio and ppaths do this. Think and find the pic of Chales Manson. they know you need to be connected and try to do that.

I am proud to announce that a con man i cross paths with and his now ex wife, the family finally spilled the beans on them. They had been screwed over enough. I had investigated. People told me to back off etc. I got the ok to continue to investigate in writing from a legal authority, and then on Mon. i got a call. I may get a PI license now and go back to school as a paralegal. Look deep into your hunches on these people. they have a clear pattern.. Spread the word and educate others. To sweet to intense is cause for concern. I mean very intense.

Congratulations Attagirl!!!! Atta-girl! Good job! Towanda!!!!

Hi Oxy, How the heck are ya? I’m only here for a few minutes, but am working withmy daughter in her real estate office a couple of days a week, so will be able to pop in a little more often to ay “hi”. Are you enjoying the crisp, fall weather, or is it still hot and humid, like it is here? I am so looking forward to cooler, crisper days. I am committed to getting out and walking, everyday.

Hope all my LF friends are doing great!!!!

Hello friends,

This is my first post but I have been “with” you all for several months. All the articles here have been very helpful in helping me to heal and understand my recent horrific marriage. Married July 2009, he was arrested May 2010 (non marriage issue), 1st restraining order May 2010, 2nd restraining order Nov. 2010 (he talked me into dropping the first), then I had the marriage was annulled based on fraud June 2011. I am just now coming out of the numbness and pain. I loved this man, he was a “pastor”, and as soon as we were married the mask came off and layer after layer of lies and deception peeled away leaving me with the reality that I was married to a monster. The man that I loved did not exist in reality he was a complete fraud. It is such a complicated long crazy story, I hesitate to post anything, were would I begin… I felt like I couldn’t talk about it with anyone because it was a bad witness for the church. My faith in God remains, but I am having a very hard time trusting being a part of a church again. The church had not checked out his past and they were not supportive to me when I told them about his abuse and lies. He lied to the church in the same way he had lied to me. How can I possibly explain it all… As I read your posts it breaks my heart to see others that have suffered the same trauma as I have.

It is eerie to see how similar the experiences are and the same traits in these amoral narcissistic spaths…truly the stuff of nightmares!

I just want to say thank you for sharing and thank you for the book references and thank you for this website! I am working very hard to recover from this huge mess, forgive and move on.

This is an incredible post. My sociopath once articulated his stare to me while I was cooking dinner when we were first together.
He actually said it right out loud, “Can’t you tell how I fell about you?” he asked. “I can’t take my eyes off you. You fascinate me.”
He continued on this path by coming over to hug me and kiss me. And it felt so good. I felt so special. Then he told me he would do just about anything for me. Anything.
You know what happened next.
That stare is powerful alright. I have to think mine knew exactly what he is and studied it. He’s perfect at it. Perfect at everything about this clandestine life that he leads. Lies, betrayal, hunting women.
But the stare turned into something totally different during our adult time together. After a while, when my brain was still in denial about what he really was, but my heart knew, that was when he looked most like a monster to me.
So scary.

When I first met my spath, he had some kind of an eye condition that made both of his eyes blood shot and red all the time. I never really noticed it because I didn’t see him that way, but it was something that he obsessed over. About a year into our relationship, he had surgery to remove whatever it was (I can’t remember the exact diagnosis). I always told him it wasn’t that bad because to me it wasn’t. But he always said he didn’t want to look ‘stoned’ all the time.
Now I know he knew he looked like a monster. He would probably see himself as he really is every time he looked in the mirror which was a lot.
Now his monster eyes are somewhat normal looking, but his heart is still pure evil. Can’t have surgery on that.

Mine didn’t have the romantic stare. His loving eyes seemed genuine – must’ve practiced that for years.

There was the “hatred stare” which shocked me. He could implement it at will. Then there was the “did my mask slip?” stare, when I said anything to indicate that I had seen past the facade – that was really nerve wracking.

That said, I think when they have you in their sights, you don’t actually have to see them looking at you. Your sixth sense tells you that you are being sized up for a meal.

Mine definitely had the romantic stare-it really possessed me-until he walked out (Thank GOD)-then he had the hateful, raging evil stare.

Hi Findingmyself, I think my spath would of liked to remain friends with me ( more like friends with benefit’s ) he would of liked having a secure place to come for comfort when his exploit’s got out of control..He used to say ” I dont want to lose you ” at the oddest moments and there was something genuine about him saying that, more so then when he would say ” I love you “.. I dont think they have many real long term friends, maybe a few that are just like them.. But there was no way I could of done that, not after the hughmungus lie’s and deceit…
BBE – Has been over 3 years for me also, but he lived with me 3 years, I knew him 3 years before he moved in, so 9 years this guy has occupied much of my thought’s…so I have learned much more about me and alot about people like him and alot about people in general. I dont think we are supposed to forget people like them.

Hens:

You are right…we must never forget. As soon as we forget, we will be duped again. It doesn’t mean we have to become bitter, but we must never forget; it must always stay in the back of our minds.

Hi Louise – I am not bitter, I dont dewl on him or people like him, I just try to keep things in perspective and do my best to make each day a good one.

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