Last week, we looked at The Successful Pathological and how he flies in under the radar while women are looking at his success and missing the red flags concerning his character or behaviors. Women can get sidetracked by his degree or noble career, or blinded by his business bling. The Italian-made shoes aren’t the only loafer—LOL!
Another way pathology manifests is what we call ‘parasitic’ behavior—which means, like a tick, they live off of others. Some pathologically disordered people are underachievers and require much financial assistance, some are not employed at all, and in fact, some are successful AND parasitic.
Wealthy and parasitic pathologicals have all the radar-busting combinations to come gliding in under a woman’s relationship radar. Wealthy pathologicals may be as parasitic as the poor ones, but are usually less identified. It’s not that wealthy ones need the housing assistance by living with you—it’s that they are able to get you to let them. It’s a power game and when you say ‘yes,’ he wins. It’s a ridiculous game that most women don’t even pay attention to in the beginning, until it begins to happen over and over again. Most women don’t care about power struggles; not so with him, because it’s his source of entertainment.
Parasites can latch on for the ride, the entertainment, or to drain you dry. The financially challenged ones try to hide that they are broke and underemployed until they are already living off of you. Or they get in by playing the pity trump card—needing a “little time to get on my feet.” Many of them appear to have the worst luck when it comes to getting or keeping a good job or somehow manage (according to him) to always find horrible bosses. In any case, it’s never his fault, and a new potential turn of events is “just around the corner,” if you will just “wait it out” with him.
The interesting thing about the parasitic life is that it has more to do with conning than it has to do with any legitimate need. The proof is that even the wealthy ones play the same game.
For the overt parasite, a red flag for women would be men who are always living with someone else, including family. Of course they have a good reason usually associated with what appears to be helping others (older parents, helping with rent for a single mother, sister, etc.).
What is suspicious is that you never see where he lives or how he lives. Why? That “great condo with the roof deck” is really a room in someone’s mobile home. Or there’s a wife and three kids at the house, which are his. Or his house is really a meth lab. Pick a reason… the bottom line is there is a reason you don’t see it. And it normally has to do with living a different life, perhaps living off of others, that he hasn’t quite disclosed to you.
A huge red flag would be that he wants to move in or marry quickly. Is it because he is so into you? Nope. It’s because he wants to betroth your checkbook before you can verify his income, his job status, his debt load, or anything else. In a blink of an eye you are sipping rum drinks with umbrellas in glasses in the Bahamas (oh, and did I mention, on your credit card?).
A flashing billboard would be when he asks you to invest in his potential business (with your love bundle!) so that you can help finance the “rest of your lives together” business.
Here’s a clue: If he’s over 28 years old and not living up to any part of his potential, there’s a reason and it’s usually pathology or addiction or both. If you are over 30, don’t fall in love with anyone’s potential. Either they’ve got the goods or they don’t. And if they don’t, there’s a reason bigger than the sad, empathy-producing story they have.
The more covert parasite, if wealthy, may give a storyline that he is “giving you an opportunity to invest in his business,” so you can make some of that return capital that you see him living on. He’s successful—so he must be doing something right. Right? Do you remember Bernie Madoff?
Pete the Parasite sometimes needs money to send his ailing mother out of the country to see relatives. Or he may need money to cover the costs of his children’s needs because his psycho ex-wife is not using the child support she receives. (Uh-huh…)
If these tactics and lines didn’t work, he wouldn’t use them and I wouldn’t know them. Parasites need hosts. The body where a parasite lands (like a tick on a dog) is called the host. Here’s a time where being a BAD HOST is a good thing!
(**If we can support you in your recovery process, please let us know. The Institute is the largest provider of recovery-based services for survivors of pathological love relationships. 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 information.)