There is an extremely painful reality with most survivors that seems to be a huge sticking point in recovery and that is the psychopath’s ability to move on as if she never existed and take up with someone new. This is universal. And because it is, it has been written about countless times by others, but still remains one of the psychopath’s most cruel of calling cards.
Most of the blog posts, articles and books I’ve read about this in trying to find comfort for myself when I dealt with my ex psychopath luring and capturing his new victim awhile back (and all the victims in between), address the issue of the reality of his moving on so fast and why. The reasons for this are outlined with regards to his propensity for boredom, thrill seeking behavior and novelty, his tendency to idealize, while his targeting is very specific to what he wants out of the potential victim, be it money, sex, an image prop, maid, stepmother, mother, trophy wife or all of the above.
Outlining the characteristics of these men (and women too) is helpful in understanding why he did this, yet it does little to ease a survivors pain because it doesn’t address what she’s really thinking and feeling, in that she wants desperately to be validated. Many survivors seek validation about their judgment in having ended the relationship, whether or not they did the right thing or if they were right about him. If they were dumped, they want to know what they did that was so wrong that he could have left and taken up with someone else so fast, when chances are he was doing this before he left and just found a new victim that will give him what he wants. Remember, psychopaths needs and wants change all the time. There is not a victim on the planet capable of fulfilling them, for as fast as he can attach, is as fast as he can detach from her or anything else he wanted or needed at one time or another from her or the victim after her. . .
What you really want to hear is that he’s an asshole, and that the relationship he has now won’t work. You want to hear that you weren’t ‘wrong” about him and that’s he’s not changed in another relationship, although he will give every indication possible that this is what he’s done. The articles and blogs I’ve read, encourage a survivor to just “move on” from obsessing about their pain and why he is now with someone else. My opinion on that is a little bit different. It’s very difficult to move on from something when you need validation to do so. So I will attempt to piece meal this a little bit in hope that it helps to you to understand that the chances of his relationship working out with the next victim are: ZERO. That’s right, that’s what I said, ZERO.
Now I’ll explain why.
Psychopaths have no empathy. Yes, I know, you wanted to believe he loved you, you wanted to believe what he said was true, you wanted to believe that no one on earth could possibly be so deceptive and such a lying piece of shit! I know! But guess what? He is. And he can lie, deceive and manipulate without blinking an eye.
It’s very disconcerting and frightening to watch a psychopath target another victim. I got to see this with my ex when he was doing his online dating near the end of the relationship with me. Typical predator. He didn’t bother to hide it once I knew, but he didn’t know I was observing him in order to validate myself about his disorder. . .
He assessed each target according to his needs. Women are often so upset when they see the new victim. They focus on appearances and I think this is typical. I did it too. But what blew me away and changed my perceptions of this in my observances of his predatory habits, was that it didn’t really matter what she looked like. Looks were not a priority for him, this time around. He had moved through an earlier time in his life where he needed a woman as a beautiful, thin, wife and mother prop, such as his first and second wives were, and instead was moving closer to the “retirement” phase of his life. So he was attempting to date lonely women with money. He wasn’t into younger, more beautiful women. His bank account and the desire to live comfortably in retirement, needing someone to help pay off his HUGE debts from borrowed money and child support/half his 401k to his wife, said it was time for a change!
The majority of the women he was choosing were vulnerable. All were successful in some way, but much older, overweight, divorced, single a long time, widowed. None were “attractive” in the sense of what he had chosen before.
Once he made this decision, he studied each victim, assessing her for her use value. He studied her vulnerabilities, the things she liked and disliked. He researched her on the internet through Google searches to find out more about her. He found out through face book, what she liked to eat, drink, and who her friends and family were.
He dated several and got down to two potential victims, one of them was an old high school friend that was now somewhat wealthy and owned her own business. She was the ultimate catch, in his mind, but she was far too healthy and caught onto his games. She wouldn’t have anything to do with him. Six weeks prior to asking the current wife to marry him, he made one last attempt to “date” the target with the most financial value. She ignored him. So he went in for the kill with victim three. My ex didn’t even take a breather to “work on himself” between his divorce , his continued relationship with me and its ending and his fast paced luring of victim three into marriage after nine months of dating. But you see, this is what psychopaths do.
HEALTHY men do not want to get married at the speed of light! Nor do healthy women. The value placed on getting to know one another prior to sex or cohabitating, for healthy people is much more important than a psychopath and his unhealthy and/or vulnerable victim rushing into a relationship or marriage.
So think about this for a minute: This is how your ex probably targeted you. There are some things that will not be the same because the new victim is a different person with different unhealthy boundaries and vulnerabilities. His images of happiness that you see, or their happiness, are just that! It can feel so contradictory, given what he has put you through and I understand this, but the contradiction in itself is an expression of his psychopathy and narcissism.
You need to remember that psychopaths will “morph” and mirror their new victims. Her interests and passions in life will not be like yours, therefore it makes sense that he will appear to be ‘different” and in a way he is, because he is now pretending to be her perfect partner. What you are seeing, quite literally, is that he has become an extension of her. He is now a reflection of her interests and who she is because he cannot do this for himself. Psychopaths are chameleons, empty to the core. They are different personalities for each individual they come into contact with.
For example: my ex’s last target (while being involved with and just before marrying the new victim), liked eating at exotic restaurants, so he studied up on it a bit and was prepared to dine on exotic foods to which he would never eat again because his need to present a persona with her was OVER. Never once, in ten years, did I see this man eat Kangaroo! But you see, this is what they do. When the potential targeted victim catches on, or he abandons the new victim, he will abandon most of what he presented to the public in being like her, except any new tactics that might work on the next victim.
My ex is also a worship leader in his new church, so image is very important to him, appearing to be a “good” Christian man. His circles have dwindled a bit since the last church that he attended with his ex wife, but nevertheless, HE thinks it’s all good for him and the new victim is not from our area so she has not a CLUE as to his past and he won’t be revealing it any time soon. Those that do know, that are around him, keep his secrets, including his children. This new victim is surrounded by very purposely or self deceptive people. The psychopath counts on these people to keep his charade going.
His targeting is really quite predictable as are the consequences. The reality is that a psychopath/narcissist will never be short on victims. There are tons of vulnerable victims in the world, a lot of unhealthy people. If this doesn’t work out for my ex, he will simply move onto the next victim.
Now, what about the new victim that stays? Well, how long did you stay? Why did you stay? We can’t assume she is staying for the same reasons and it doesn’t mean that he’s not abusive anymore. It means that she’s willing to buy into all of his bullshit, while he pushes the boundaries very slowly in an effort to gain more control in her life under the guise of “Baby, I just love you so much, I can’t stand to be away from you”..isolating her further from what was her life before him, including with friends and family. He might “let” her have some remnant of her old life or encourage her financially because it benefits him, but that’s all.
All of this takes strategy and and a huge amount of energy and time on the psychopaths part. Some psychopaths enjoy the duping and just like a child playing a really fun game, will keep the charade of “I can’t get enough of you, baby” going until he gets bored or she is completely emotionally dependent upon him. It’s her dependence that determines how long she stays, as well as the psychopaths ability to prolong the honeymoon period, further cultivating that dependency. Some victims are much more emotionally dependent than others. It all depends, but I can guarantee you that she is ignoring a lot of red flags right now.
Dependency is addiction. The healthier a victim is, determines how long she stays. If she is from a childhood home of pathology or is otherwise extremely vulnerable due to another trauma, and is not healed, she will stay longer. You can guarantee that psychopaths assess the potential “longevity” of their victims based upon their histories and vulnerabilities, her belief systems and his ability to push her boundaries. The healthier she is, the least likely she will stay long and will catch onto the psychopaths oddities, behaviors, lies, intentions and deceptiveness, covered up right now in all that Mr. Wonderful.
His character: This one is simple: A man of good character, who is healthy DOES NOT abuse women. I posted this sentence to my face book newsfeed the other day and one of my male friends responded by saying, “I abhor abusers!”. He’s a GOOD man. The men friends I have are appalled at the mistreatment and disrespect of women. My story and that of other women who have been traumatized by men like my ex’s, are sickened by it. Why? Because they have empathy and to treat a woman with anything other than respect, care and concern, is unfathomable to them, it is NOT apart of their character.
Healthy men, with good character, will also recognize that they need to take time from a long marriage or relationship, to grieve and to look at themselves, either through therapy or just taking time out for themselves to be alone for awhile. YES, there are men who do this. There are men who ask themselves, “what happened?” and “What changes do I need to make and what do I need to learn from this?” People who are healthy do not run from relationship to relationship, hiding from themselves. Healthy people do not degrade, humiliate, use, lie, rewrite history, omit parts of their histories altogether with new partners, hide behind their mask of Christianity and/or monetary success. They have remorse, do not talk about their ex’s in degrading, humiliating ways. Not even in subtle ways. Healthy men do not need to control, rush the relationship, love bomb, suffocate, manipulate their children, other minion (supporters), to keep their secrets.
They do not need to mirror the likes and dislikes of their victims because they will have their own likes and dislikes that differ in degree from the partner. Healthy men will not triangulate others with the new victim, whether he uses the ex-wife, her children, his children the family dog, HEALTHY MEN DO NOT DO THIS. Healthy men DO NOT CHEAT. If they do, they make amends immediately and work on themselves and their relationships to change it. A psychopath never will. A healthy man does not sabotage, create drama, have child like temper tantrums, rage out of control, laugh at your pain. They do not provoke arguments, do not twist words, do not blame shift or project blame onto you or others. They do not spend time talking about how awful so and so is and what was done to them. A healthy relationship does not cause confusion and chaos.
They do not tell you that you are their “soul mate”. They do not assume intimacy and love within the first few weeks or even several months. They do not move in with or marry you within months in order to access your bank account to help pay off their debt. Have I listed enough?
The only thing that a psychopath or narcissist changes is his persona and his victims. Nothing more.
At the beginning of the relationship, during the honeymoon phase, the psychopath is very suffocating in his apparent “neediness” of his target.. He isn’t “needy”, he’s controlling and this is a very critical piece that you need to remember when you think he’s “happier” with her. The only time a psychopath is “happy” is when he’s got what he wants….and only for awhile, because eventually even the best is boring for him.
It is rare that they don’t cheat. I’ve yet to meet one survivor whose ex did not cheat, whether she knew about it during the relationship or after. Some psychopaths are cheating from the very beginning, setting up their triangulations before hooking the main target permanently. This assures his ability to remain completely uncommitted in the marriage or in a co-habitation situation. Psychopaths are brilliant at hiding double lives. My ex was no exception to this. If you think it can’t happen, think again. We’re talking about individuals who do not feel, they THINK, constantly strategizing to relieve their boredom (another reason they are extremely hyper sexual and that what they have is never enough) and because they have no conscience.
Their entire lives are all about controlling and duping others. They are time freaks and they compartmentalize everything and everyone in their lives. They usually have many cellphones with easily removable sim cards, as well as multiple email addresses, online dating sites under pseudonyms that he can hide brilliantly from his main target. I do believe that the more unhealthy and vulnerable the victim is, the longer she will stay, the more denial she will have.
The fantasy that the psychopath builds for her from the beginning is very powerful and if she is already at a severe deficit and is emotionally weak and vulnerable, the psychopath will have better success in keeping her in the relationship, no matter how abusive it will become. This is where it’s important to be mindful about your escape and how fortunate you are to have gotten out. The new victim will surely suffer an immeasurable amount of pain in the future. I have seen victims who have relinquished their power completely, unable to live without their psychopaths. It is extremely sick and extremely sad. Believe me when I say you’ve dodged a bullet!
I know how painful it can be to see the psychopath and his new victim in “real time”. Whether in images or close up, but we have to look past what we see as exclusive and bring into reality the whole picture. This pictures includes what he did to you and every other victim in his life and then some. Psychopaths are addicted to the control and subsequent pain of the abuse they create and cause for others.
We literally have to learn how not to want the psychopath anymore. When we see who he really is, the jealousy, anger and hurt about the new victim will be gone. Who wants to marry, live with and/or date a psychopathic abuser? If you still want or love him, it’s because you are looking upon him with eyes of empathy. You’re projecting your feelings onto someone who is incapable of having them. It’s also a reflection of the wounds you must heal, a reflection of your low self worth, forfeited for his opinions of you.
Survivors move forward and most pretty quickly when they understand and finally accept that their ex partner was disordered. ONLY then are they able to switch gears and begin to look at their involvement in the relationship and what made them vulnerable to a psychopath or narcissist in the first place. Changing your perspective hurts. You will have to take every positive thought about him and change it into one that is realistic. His “love” for you, was manipulation. The sweet cycles. The abuse,…well it was abuse.
Part of disengaging and working on changing your perceptions of him and his character will be the removal of your emotional dependency upon him, keeping in mind that this is part of his slime he left you with. As you cultivate your own independence and change the story of the relationship to an accurate one with regards to the psychopaths love bombing and subsequent abuses, it will help you to embrace yourself and your new life more.
And one day, you may see the new victim and feel sorry for her. You may see the psychopath, but he will appear as inconsequential and a waste of air space that he really is. When you can do this, you’ll know you’re getting healthy again.
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