Archives for February 2011

Grieving the Pathological Loss

Over and over again women are shocked to find out how bad it is and how horrible they feel leaving
a pathological partner. As horrendous as the relationships has been, as hurt as they have become at his hands, and the emotional/physical/financial/sexual/spiritual cost it takes to heal…she asks, “Why in the world am I so sad and in so much grief?”

‘Loving’ a pathological (not just a psychopath but any person with a pathological disorder) seems to produce a very intense attachment to the relationship. Most women report that ‘loving’ them is nothing like anything else she ever experienced. They indicate that it’s more intense than other relationships, more mind-games that keep her very confused and unable to detach, and a kind of hypnotic mesmerizing that keeps her in the relationship LONG after she knows she should have left.

Because of this intense bonding, mental confusion, pathological attachment and a hypnotic connection
her grief is likely to be huge. This is often confusing to her because there has been so much damage to
her by the time she leaves she thinks she should be ‘relieved’ to simply be out of the relationship. But
when the paralyzing grief mounts, she is aggravated with herself for being in so much pain and grief over the ending of something so ‘sick.’

Lots of women are confused as to ‘whom’ or ‘what’ it is they are actually grieving. Grief can seem so
‘illusive’ – a haunting feeling that is like a grey ghost but can’t be nailed down to actually ‘what’ the loss is. But the ending of any relationship (even a pathological one) is a loss. Within the ending of the relationship is a loss of lots of elements.

  • There is a loss of the ‘dream’ of partnership or togetherness.
  • The loss of a shared future together
  • As well as the loss that maybe he would some day ‘get it together’ or actually ‘love you.’
  • When the relationship ends, so does the dream of being loved (even if he was technically not capable
    of truly loving anyone).
  • There is a loss of your plans for the future—maybe that was buying a home, having
    children, or taking a big trip.
  • There is the loss of shared parenting (if that occurred).
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of being touched or held
  • Loss of sex

Although a lot of women may actually see a lot of these hopes and dreams as ‘illusions’ it still constitutes
a loss and women are often surprised at the kinds of things they find themselves grieving over.

Still more losses:

  • Some women lose their pets in the break up, or their house or career.
  • Some lose their children, their friends, her relatives or his.
  • Some have to relocate to get away from him because of his dangerousness so they lose their community, roots, and home.

No matter what it is you perceived you no longer have…it’s a loss and when you have loss you have grief. People spend a lot of time trying to stay on the perimeter of grief—trying to avoid it and stay away from the pain. But grief is the natural way to resolve conflict and loss. It’s the body’s way of riding the mind and soul of ongoing pain. It’s an attempt at rebalancing one’s mind and life. Grief is a natural process that is GIVEN to you as a pain management tool. Without grief there would not be a way of moving through pain. You would always just remain stuck in the feelings and would always feel the same.

Here’s a few tips:

1. Therefore, don’t avoid grief. While no one LIKES grief it’s important to allow yourself to feel the feelings and the pain because to suppress it, deny it, or avoid it will mean you will never work through it. I don’t know anyone who WANTS to live in this kind of pain.

2. There is only one way through the pain of grief and that’s through the middle of it. There are no short cuts, quick routes or other ways ‘around’ the pain and grief. There is only through it—like a wilderness. But on the other side of it is the promise of healing, hope and a future.

3. Don’t judge your grief. What hurts, hurts. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you (he was horrible, why am I grieving HIM?)—it’s your body’s way of moving through it so let it.

4. Get help if you need it—counseling, group, medication, a grief group—whatever it is you need.

5. Don’t set a predetermined ‘time’ that you think you should be ‘over it.’ It probably takes longer than you think it will or you want it to. But that’s how it is—grief takes it’s time.

6. Grief can look like depression, anxiety, PTSD or a lot of other types of symptoms and sometimes it’s
hard to know where one starts and the other one ends. That’s because often you aren’t having one or the other, you are having some of both. Have a professional assess that for you.

7. Journal your losses, talk about them, tell others, get help when you need it. (We’re here too!!). Most of all, know that grief is a God-send natural way of working through so you can move on.

(**Information about pathological love relationships is in our award winning book Women Who Love Psychopaths and is also available in our retreats, 1:1s, or phone sessions. See the website for more info.)

Compassion is a Funny Thing

Compassion is such an important trait to posses.  It implies a caring for others that includes understanding, awareness, identifying with others.  It is the acknowledgement that you “get” them.  You clearly understand not only who they are but you understand their pain…their hurt.  You are the person who feels what others feel.  With your compassion you not only feel what others feel but are compelled to do something to help them.  Your compassion is a word of action…because you are a person of action.

But it is this action that puts your trait over the top…this is point in which your compassion spills over…out of your cup and into the cup of someone who’s cup may be empty.  For someone who is pathological your compassion is what they need.  They do not have compassion for others so they take yours…using it to manipulate and mask.  They mask the horror of who they are with the fantasy of who you need them to be. 

Herein lies the risk: He is just looking for someone to believe his story…and it is usually a really good one.  He needs someone to believe that he is the victim…that he is worthy of “compassion” and “help” so that you will cooperate.  Once you listen to his story your compassion kicks in and you will do everything you can to help him and join the team.  Compassion is the feeling that drives your helpfulness and cooperation.  Remember, for you, compassion is an action word.   

Herein lies the benefit: Once you realize who and what he is, your compassion decreases.  It is hard to have compassion for a thief and a liar.  It is hard to have compassion for a con-artist and a manipulator.  So, when the day finally comes when you see who he is…your compassion decreases.  Again, your decreased compassion combined with knowledge and resourcefulness leads you to get out of the relationship.  You are no longer willing to participate in his charade, no longer willing to feel his pain.

But the most interesting part about real compassion is that it will evolve into compassion for his disorder.  The truth is that he has a disorder that will never go away…he is missing something that others have and has lived his life compensating for that deficiency.  The symptom of his disorder is inevitable harm for those who end up in intimate relationships with him…and it is still incurable.  And so, after a while you will learn that the best way to leave and begin your healing journey is through compassionate disengagement.  You will begin to understand that you would never ask a blind person to see anymore than you would ask a pathological to feel.  You would accept the unchanging nature of the condition out of compassion…compassion that understands limitations.  Compassionate disengagement means that you have chosen to see his disorder, understand his disorder and move towards healing the effects of his disorder by leaving.  The action of your compassion has now turned towards your healing.

Take a minute and think about the “feelings” that you may still have for him.  If compassion is still an overwhelming feeling then take a minute to focus on what you are resisting.  Your continued compassion is a sign that you are not truly convinced as to who and what he is.  Take a minute and list the reality of your relationship.  You can list the experiences that have had that led you to believe he was pathological.  List the undeniable behaviors or experiences that you have witnessed…and even the things he should have done that he does not.   When you compare your list of reality to the behaviors that are typical in pathology the reality will be undeniable.  With the facts comes compassion that his disorder is unchangeable and you can begin to disengage.

The trio of SuperTraits: Cooperation, Helpfulness and Compassion are traits that tell us what you have to offer others…and yourself.  These traits represent your ability to give back, to care, to share and to understand.  They are not the kind of traits that you would want to “go away”.  They are not the kind of traits that you would want to stifle.  These are the traits that have allowed you to understand others and make things happen.  They have allowed you and driven you to make things better.  They have created in you a light that others feel and are drawn too.  So, as with all the other traits that overflow in you the solution is not to put the light out but to turn it into something manageable…something not too risky and so bright that those who have NO light are filled with YOUR light.

How Pathological Is ‘Too’ Pathological?

In other words, ‘How sick is TOO sick?’

One of the characteristics of women who have been in pathological relationships is that they are very ‘forgiving’ and ‘tolerant’ of less than stellar mental health qualities in their intimate relationships. That’s because the women have very elevated traits of compassion, empathy, tolerance, and acceptance according to our research and to name but a few. These are excellent and humanitarian traits to have….except in a relationship with a pathological person in which these traits create ‘super glue’ that keeps you in a relationship you should NOT be tolerating, accepting, or being empathetic about. The problem is women often don’t realize that someone can simply have ‘narcissistic traits’ or ‘psychopathic traits’ and still be a danger to her in a relationship.

That’s because it doesn’t take much pathology to dramatically and negatively effect her and the relationship. It only takes a ‘drop’ of abnormal psychology to really screw up the relationship and the others around him. This is why even ‘just traits’ are important to identify. ‘Just traits’ means he has SOME of the criteria for, lets say narcissism or psychopathy, but not enough to fully qualify for the full diagnosis. But let’s not split hairs here…a few traits are enough to qualify for ‘too’ pathological. It DOES matter that he is a ‘tad bit’ pathological because any of the traits of pathology are negative and harmful.

Would it matter that he had a little or a lot of ‘low empathy?’ No–the end result is the same–low empathy and the pain he causes others. ‘Little-to-None’ is almost none–it doesn’t matter if he is a little unempathetic or a lot. Not being able to have empathy is the bottom line.

Would it matter if he had a little or a lot of poor impulse control? I doubt it if his poor impulse control effected his sexual acting out, his drug use, or his wild spending habits. A little goes a long way in poor impulse control.

Would it matter if he had a little or a lot of rebellion against laws, rules, or authority? Probably not…even just a little bit of rebellion has the propensity of getting him arrested or fired, ignoring a restraining order or refusing to pay child support. How about ‘just pathological enough’ to really screw up your children with his distorted and warped world view, his chronic inconsistency, his wavering devotion to you or them, his role modeling of his addictions, or his display of ‘the rules aren’t for me’ attitude?

I watch women ‘look’ for loopholes to minimize the pathology he DOES have instead of looking for ways he does meet criteria for the pathology he does have and find reasons to get out. Instead, they find reasons ‘it’s not THAT bad.’ But just a little bit of a ‘bad boy’ is probably too pathological…too sick for a normal relationship. Since pathology is the ‘inability to sustain positive change, grow to any meaningful depth, or develop insight about how one’s behavior effects others’ even just ‘some’ pathology is too much. Because if he can’t sustain change (you know…all those things he promises to change about himself) or grow or have insight about how and why he hurts you…he’s TOO pathological–TOO sick–TOO disordered to have anything that resembles a normal relationship. Why would you ‘want’ a relationship that has NO capacity to grow, change, or meet your needs?

Bad boy enticement is very real…that edginess he has makes many women highly attracted to him. But beyond the edginess can be anything from ‘just traits’ to ‘full blown pathology.’ Nonetheless, women must learn to draw a line in the sand that even ‘just’ traits is enough to guarantee their unhappiness and harm in the hands of a guy who is ‘too pathological’ for her!

(**Information about pathology and your recovery is in the award winning Women Who Love Psychopaths, also taught during retreats in the months of Feb and August, in 1:1 sessions during January, March, May and September or in phone sessions.)

Neurofeedback Training and PTSD – Part II

In January’s column, we looked at neurofeedback training as a method to calm the brain and reduce a wide-ranging variety of symptoms associated with PTSD.

A person with PTSD has the unfortunate challenge of living with constant hormonal and neurotransmitter disruption. Why is this the case, even when the trauma is in the past? We know from Sandra’s work and that of others in the field of personality disorders, that the trauma does not necessarily stop once the “relationship” is over.

There are many legitimate source s of ongoing re-traumatization for the person formally involved with a disordered individual. For example, legal matters, shared custody of children, the process of rebuilding a life, all contain unique triggers.

But how can we understand the extent to which the person’s body continues to be in overdrive, even when these triggers are reduced? One answer lies in an understanding of what happens physically to a person under constant stress and or trauma:

Because the cell membranes in various parts of the nervous system become literally worn over time and unresponsive, which means the normal shut off process in those experiencing constant stress is not working. Thus , we have a biochemical and nervous system on overload, spinning down into further and further dis-regulation in the absence of effective interventions.

This is one reason why we see neurotransmitter and cortisol imbalances, and imbalances in brain functioning in PTSD. The brainwaves of persons with PTSD are often characterized by a great deal of activity in the zones related to anxiety, intense emotions, overthinking (obsessing)  and hypervigilance. There is usually reduced activity, and therefore reduced functioning, in areas associated with memory, focus, analytic capability, and the ability to relax.

The regions associated with sleep are usually disrupted, as is the ability to “be in the body.” The implications for ongoing emotional, physical and interpersonal problems are clear.

Neurofeedback training, which takes about 30-40 minutes a session, can help the nervous system to get back into balance. Most clients find some relief  after 2-3 sessions, and may do as many as 30 or 40 sessions over the course of a year. Many find that about 20 sessions makes a big difference in their ability to get on with their lives.

The cost varies from region to region, as does the availability of insurance coverage. The site below will help you find a practitioner using  geographic locations.

http://www.adnf.org/neurofeedback_directory.htm

He Seems Happy Now, Will I EVER Be Happy Too?

There are a lot of distortions that go on about the pathological man’s ability to ‘be happy.’ One of the issues of permanent personality disorders and pathology is that at the core of them is unhappiness. That is why they have so many angry outbursts, attitude problems, and failed relationships.

Some of them ‘fake’ the external appearance of ‘happy-go-lucky’ or act as if their lives are fine. Partners need to look below the ‘presentation’ and question what he’s showing at face value. Survivors fall for it the first time by getting in the relationship with him and then fall for it a second time when believing his external presentation of his ‘life without you in it.’

I chanted it like a mantra so I’ll continue to say it,

“Nothing changes in pathology because it’s hard-wired to not change.”

So if he was horrible with you, he’ll be horrible with her (eventually). If he was at the core of himself, miserable/unhappy/unsuccessful NOTHING will change. Go deeper than looking at this flash-in-the-pan faux presentation that he WANTS you to see and then feel bad about because you are not with him. Psychopathology does not change and neuroscience continues to teach us why his hardwired brain doesn’t allow for change. If you don’t believe me, at least believe science. His change is not going to happen now and not simply because he is with someone else. Pathology is not a light switch you turn off and on at will.

The real question is will YOU ever be happy again? Survivors misread their own ability to be happy in the future because they are all wrapped up in STILL watching him, rating him, gauging his happiness against hers.

A recovery question is: Why are you STILL watching him? What in the world does he have to do with YOUR future happiness?

You know why watching him effects your own ability to recover and find happiness? Because the longer you watch him the more intrusive the thoughts become, the more ping-pong brain of cognitive dissonance you keep, the more miserable you stay, and the longer you postpone your own recovery and joy.

When survivors are being honest about what they fear most, it is that he will go on and have this fabulous life and ‘be good to another woman’ and you will never meet anyone. Since you do want to eventually meet someone healthy to love…what healthy guy wants to be with a woman who is obsessed with a pathological man? Whose eyes are not on THEIR new emerging relationship but on what he’s doing next? Instead of your eyes being focused forward on the future, you have your neck turned backwards looking at her past and what he’s doing. What does new Mr. Healthy see–you filled with regret and revenge–not really good material for a new relationship, eh?

It IS understandable why you are angry that he ‘appears’ to be happy with someone else and you are not. It is also understandable after what you have lived through that you ‘wonder’ if you’ll always pick
pathologicals, if you’re too damaged to ever have a healthy relationship, if you are even capable of feeling anything other than intrusive thoughts moreless, joy….These are totally normal questions considering what you’ve been through. But finding those answers for yourself is not found in the glancing over your shoulder at him. There’s no going back.

‘Drag an ax and clear a path’ into your future. Work on yourself (let us help you!) so you understand ‘why’ you choose someone like that, ‘how’ you ignored so many red flags, and ‘understand’ your own personality traits that leave you vulnerable for relationships like that. There is plenty to heal from! Then, when you’ve done all the work, LIVE. Don’t search it out on internet dating sites where PREDATORS live. Just live a joyful life and allow that health, vibrance, and joy to direct you. It’s when you aren’t seeking that you find that which you have been waiting for. Joyce Brown, my mentor for this work said, “A man is not the ‘cake’ — a relationship is only the icing on the cake of a good life.”

Heal you, get a great life…and the rest will fall into place. My mother when she was dying said “I’m not afraid to die because I’ve lived a great life. I’ve had so much fun and I’ve been so loved. Who could ask for more?”

Let us know if our phone counselors or our retreats can help you heal so you can reclaim your joy!

(**Information on pathology and how to recover is in the award winning Women Who Love Psychopaths, also taught during retreats in the months of Feb and August, in 1:1 sessions during January, March, May and September or in phone sessions.)

Understanding the Benefits of Mediation in Divorce – Part II

A mediator does not represent either party. Rather, a mediator creates a cooperative environment when both you and your spouse can work together to reach an agreement on the terms of your divorce. Both you and your spouse have the right to also consult individually with an attorney during this process. Once the agreement is reached, the mediator will write up the agreement into a document where both you and your spouse will then be able to file the document with additional court papers to obtain a divorce.

This process only works if both you and your spouse are willing to make a full financial disclosure, and if you both are willing to make a good faith effort to reach an agreement.

The benefits of mediation are:

Lower cost because this process is less time consuming. The amount of time involved to reach an agreement varies based on the level of conflict, the number of issues and the complexity of both your finances. A typical mediation where both you and your spouse agree typically takes approximately 10 hours.

Less painful for your children because you avoid the long court process and litigation involved with ending your marriage.

Mediated settlements can be prepared by a lawyer or a certified divorce mediator.

The benefit to a mediator is when you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all issues, and you simply are looking for the most inexpensive and yet professional completing the necessary paperwork to finalize your divorce.

Hiring a Qualified Mediator:

  • Call your local County Clerk’s Office and ask for a list of mediators in your area.
  • Check the yellow pages under “Divorce Mediation”
  • Make sure whomever you choose has been mediating for at least 3 years.
  • Ask for a list of references.
  • Ask for a fee agreement in writing once you have selected someone.
  • Consult with a lawyer before an agreement is finalized to have them review and make any changes to the document.

Ending a Relationship is not an easy road to travel. It is survivable only when you are able to do the work necessary to move on with your life. You will make it.

Ponerology 101: Psychopathy at Nuremberg – Part IV

Be sure to check the article index page for this column to read other parts of this article.

In short, Göring exploited the ideology and structure of Nazism for his own personal ambition, greed, and sadistic need for power. And yet, he still gave seemingly blind support to Hitler. Why? This is a question that puzzles many psychopathy researchers and even causes them to doubt the possibility that psychopaths could ever maintain a stable position in any political or corporate system. After all, psychopaths are notoriously self-serving and impulsive. They are loyal to no one and quick to turn on their so-called “associates” and “friends”. But for intelligent psychopaths like Göring, subservience to superiors is not loyalty per se. It is mere lip service that allows them to reap the benefits of their environment. Think of Karl Rove and George Bush – Rove played his part of cunning underling because that’s where he gained the most benefits. Just as psychopaths will often abide by prison rules to secure parole or lighter sentences, even feigning religious conversion, they will work within a political structure like Nazism because they have an interest in doing so. Whereas in a normal society psychopaths are persecuted by non-psychopaths because of their antisocial attitudes and behaviors, in a system like the Nazi dictatorship, the rules change. In a society with no higher authority than themselves, they have an interest in maintaining it, even if that means sucking up to a delusional fanatic.

However, while alliances are created and maintained in such a system, there is another motivation at work. Self-promotion and the resulting backstabbing is just as much a part of the game. And Göring was an expert. At Nuremburg, he repeatedly showed a typical ease of yarn spinning and shirking of responsibility to others, demonstrating the real nature of his so-called “loyalties”. He was caught in several obvious contradictions and lies during his testimony and was quick to denounce his fellow Nazis, shouting frequent outbursts such as the following:

“Roehm! Don’t talk to me about that dirty homosexual swine! That was the real clique of perverted bloody revolutionists! They are the ones who made the Party look like a pack of hoodlums, with their wild orgies and beating up Jews on the street and smashing windows! … What a gang of perverted bandits that SA was! It is a damn good thing I wiped them out or they would have wiped us out!”

As Gilbert points out, however, “These were, of course, the very same hoodlums whom Göring had trained in street-fighting”.19 Sounds a bit like the American pundits who lambaste the very “Islamic terrorists” they funded and trained in the ’70s and ’80s, doesn’t it? Alliances are only alliances when they’re convenient. As soon as they’re not, all bets are off. Gilbert was able to observe Göring’s manipulative “divide and conquer” modus operandi in operation:

It was interesting to compare notes with some of the other officers who were seeing him at this time, to see how he was maligning the psychologist to the psychiatrist, and vice versa, both chaplains to the psychologist and psychiatrist, and vice versa, while fawning on each in turn. In the prisoners’ dock, which was the only place he could meet the others now, he repeated the same process with militarists against civilians, Prussians against Bavarians, Protestants against Catholics, and always vice versa, smiling to each in turn, but soliciting sympathy by scorning him behind his back to members of opposed groups. … Finally, when Speer made his spectacular denunciation of Hitler and Göring, Göring reacted in typical gangster fashion, threatening to have Speer murdered if he ever got out of the jail alive.20

After seeing film evidence of the atrocities of the regime, many of the defendants broke down crying in shame, but Göring had a different reaction.

“It was such a good afternoon too, until they showed that film. They were reading my telephone conversations on the Austrian affair, and everybody was laughing with me. And then they showed that awful film, and it just spoiled everything.”21

On April 18, 1946, Göring offered his infamous glimpse behind the psychopathic mask of fascism to Gilbert, quoted in the last installment of this series. (“All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”) And on an another occasion, he said:

“What do you mean, morality… word-of-honor?” Göring snorted. “Sure, you can talk about word-of-honor when you promise to deliver goods in business. – But when it is the question of the interests of the nation!? – Phooey! Then morality stops. That is what England has done for centuries; America has done it; and Russia is still doing it! … When a state has a chance to improve its position because of the weakness of a neighbor, do you think it will stop at any squeamish consideration of keeping a promise? It is a statesman’s duty to take advantage of such a situation for the good of his country!”22

Göring wholly embraced the psychopathic “dog-eat-dog” worldview. For him, as for the psychopaths dictating “war on terror”-inspired foreign policy today, “preventive war, aggressive war, politics, and peace were all just different aspects of the same struggle for supremacy which was in the very nature of things, with the rewards going to the strongest nation and the cleverest leaders.”23 This is the stark reality behind the political propaganda of “national interests” dished out for public consumption in the world. Gilbert’s most dangerous conclusion was equally blunt:

“Psychopathic personalities undoubtedly play an important part in major manifestations of social pathology, particularly when they achieve positions of leadership in social groups and movements. It is all too clear that they played a decisive role in the revolutionary nucleus of the Nazi movement, and thus determined the complexion of the government of Nazi Germany.”24

That’s what he concluded and he wrote it in his book. That is why no one has heard of him, why none of his research or conclusions have been implemented in the practice of politics the world over, and why the Nuremberg defendants had to die. It’s why political psychologists are still focused on testing for “political biases among voters” and other interesting tidbits that miss the mark when it comes to the truly important issues. And it’s why the only thing anyone remembers about the Nazis at Nuremburg were their Rorschach protocols!

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

Pretty much every current pet theory that attempts to explain the source of evil – the “enemy” in our midst – is wrong. There is no singular “Nazi mind”, just as there isn’t an “Islamic mind” or even a “Western or American mind” that is the source of all evil. Fighting “Islam” or even “American imperialism” will get us nowhere. The fact is, psychopaths exist in all human groups and they play an essential role in the politics of corruption, gaining support from individuals – normal and disordered. In short, the very qualities we often identify as those of a typical politician are those of a psychopath. They are present in all governments, and, given the right conditions, they create and maintain systems of oppression that know many labels: fascism, dictatorship, authoritarianism, communism, theocracy, and even democracy. As long as we focus on the name, we ignore the cause, and we play right into their hands.

  1. Ibid., 96.
  2. Ibid., 115.
  3. Ibid., 110.
  4. Ibid., 116.
  5. Ibid., 116.
  6. Ibid., 286.

The Other Woman–Now He’s HAPPY With HER!

Nothing cranks a woman up more than going through a drama-filled ending of her dysfunctional, pathological, abusive, addicted and/or sick relationship ONLY to find he rapidly moved on and now seems ‘so happy.’ Women tend to conclude it must have been ‘her’ and if he can be happy with someone else and not her, well then….it was some shortcoming in her and she needs to study up to figure out just what ‘went wrong.’

Ladies, ladies ladies….by now you have been reading enough of these newsletters to be able to ‘chant’ the ABC’s of Pathology I have been teaching you—pathology is:

The inability to:
– consistently sustain positive change
– grow to any emotional/spiritual depth
and
– develop meaningful insight about how his behavior negatively effects others

THE BEST PREDICTOR OF FUTURE BEHAVIOR IS PAST BEHAVIOR when it comes to a pathological.

So what you have to ask yourself is how were his previous relationships? I don’t mean what he TOLD you they were (all her fault, she was a psycho, sleaze, or whacked) but what really happened in them.

If you developed a Relationship Time Line and wrote out all his relationships from his teen years forward AND the ‘quality’ of them and why they ended, what would you conclude? How successful IS this man in maintaining healthy relationships? Yup…that’s what I thought.

How was his relationship with you? No, I’m not talking about the honeymoon cycle when both of you are living off of endorphins. I’m talking about the guts of the thing….the meat and bones of it.

So, he has a history of his own ‘Trail of Tears’ — a path littered with the lives of wounded women and children? Your relationship has left you as one more statistic of his pathological heart breaks.

Now, there’s ‘HER’ — appearing all happy, snuggley and ‘in love’! You see her as getting all the good parts of him you always loved and none of the bad parts! After all, the reason
you left him was all that bad stuff!

Doesn’t it make you want to call her up and tell her what’s just around the corner in the relationship?

Doesn’t it make you want to curl up in a fetal position and cry that he has ‘found happiness in the arms of another?’

Doesn’t it make you sick in the pit of your stomach or consume you with intrusive and obsessive thoughts about how wonderfully ‘in love’ he is? STOP THE DRAMA!

Repeat after me….”Pathology is the inability to sustain positive change” “the best predictor of HIS future behavior is his past behavior” — so just what does that mean? There are honeymoon phases of every relationship. Lovers live on the high of the ‘falling in love stage.’ We already know that pathologicals don’t ‘technically’ fall in love but they do hang around and experience some level of attachment. But YOU experienced the whole endorphin falling in love sensation. Well, so is SHE.

How long did yours last? A few weeks, months or maybe a year or two of ok-ness? What happened next? Oh yeah, you found out his lies or noticed his inconsistency, or asked him to work, or caught him cheating….once you confronted him then you got the narcissistic rage, then maybe the aloofness, or maybe he even packed up and left.

Guess what’s gonna happen AGAIN? There will be the honeymoon for her, then she will notice his lies, inconsistency, ask him to work or catch him cheating, then she’ll eventually confront him (or live forever with the miserableness of knowing what he’s doing and not having the ovaries to confront him) and then he’ll rage, punish her, reject her, ignore her or leave.

~OUILA~ she is now on his ‘Stepford Wives List of Rejects’. She’s one more tear on his ‘Trail of Tears.’ You haven’t seen behind their closed doors to know what SHE’s dealing with….he hasn’t changed—he’s hardwired so she’s going to be dealing with the same thing you did. It’s just a matter of WHEN.

If I were a gambling girl, I’d put my money every stinking time on the consistency of pathology and his inability to ever change in ANY relationship–the previous one, yours, or the future ones. She’s not getting the best of ANYTHING. She’s you. And in a short time, she’ll be another statistic. If pathology doesn’t change, this relationship is wired for destruction.

There are NO happy endings in relationships with pathologicals. There are no pumpkin-drawn carriages, no sweet little house with three children…scratch that record! Stop attributing normal characteristics to a profoundly abnormal person.

Women spend all their precious emotional energy on obsessing about the quality of his relationship with the next victim instead of working on themselves–using that energy for their own healing. They live in a fantasy world where they are deprived of this wonderful relationship and he is off living the life of a normal person. This fantasy does not end with “And they lived happily ever after.”

Your positive fantasy thoughts of him being happy with someone are the memories that are
pulling all of your focus while you totally forget how this horror flick is going to end. If you need a reminder, read all of our archived Sandra Says columns.

Take a deep breath and come back…she hasn’t got anything you haven’t already gotten from him–MISERY. If she doesn’t have it right now, she will have it shortly. Once you really ‘get it’ about the permanence of pathology you’ll understand that his ability to be different in the relationship doesn’t exist. If he was capable, he would have done the changing with you. But he didn’t–and he won’t. Whatever exists right now is that short honeymoon cycle until she realizes what he is and ISN’T–and what he can NEVER be. Don’t bother picking up the phone and telling her what he is and isn’t. Just worry about your own recovery….from this
moment on, it’s all about you!

(**Information on pathology and how to recover is in the award winning Women Who Love Psychopaths, also taught during retreats in the months of Feb and August, in 1:1 sessions during January, March, May and September or in phone sessions.)