After the Psychopathic Partner, Now What?

There Are Many Ways To Heal From A Psychopathic Partner

If you’ve been in a relationship with a ruthless manipulator, a toxic narcissist, or a psychopathic partner you know the devastation is far-reaching. They reduce life to a game of winning, a compulsion to obliterate anyone or anything standing in their way. Understand that regardless of what they say, they have no emotional attachment to anyone. They lack cognitive empathy, and the researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health found a link between sociopathic deficits in recognizing emotions and amygdala dysfunction. Sadly, they cannot change, and they will repeat their heartless subterfuges with everyone in their life, including their children.

No matter where you are in your path fighting a toxic person, whether a spouse, parent, boss, or co-worker, know that millions of us are on this path with you. And you can heal and protect yourself from other character-disordered people.

What Is A Psychopathic Partner

Society often associates psychopathy with extreme cases, envisioning individuals like Charles Manson with a carved swastika on his forehead. This assumption leads people to believe they can naturally identify psychopaths, enabling them to avoid the dangers of relationships with them. However, the average person struggles to name even the top 5 characteristics of a toxic personality. Even trained therapists encounter difficulties in identifying these traits. Consequently, the challenge lies not only in recognizing psychopathic tendencies but also in navigating the aftermath and healing from the trauma they leave behind.

Numerous fiction and non-fiction writers, including James Fallon, M.E. Thomas, Jen Waite, O.N. Ward, and Patricia Highsmith, have delved into the experiences of psychopaths and sociopaths, as well as the challenges of being in a relationship with one.

They describe the psychopath’s heightened need for stimulation, hypnotic charm, lack of empathy, inclination for risky behavior, impulsive decision-making, unwavering confidence, insatiable sex drive, captivating charm, fearlessness, and adept use of diversions and distractions to conceal their puppet-master role in the lives of those around them.

However, I have found that law enforcement and lawyers can accurately predict their behavior and next steps with uncanny ability.

Unfortunately, survivors must work through layers of cognitive dissonance and heal the physical and emotional damage from prolonged psychological trauma. We must recover from the chronic PTSD, hyper-vigilance, anxiety, and emotional numbing. We need to re-acquaint ourselves with our intuition and truly listen to it. If not, survivors put themselves at risk of attracting another predator. And it’s crucial not to date during this period of healing.

So, how do you identify the leading tactics a psychopathic partner uses to target their next victim?

According to Sandra Brown’s clinical research with psychopaths, they test individuals’ empathy and trust, appealing to their humanity. These individuals assess if the target will be sympathetic to their “bad luck” as they seemingly pour out their hearts in some dimly lit restaurant. I remember being deeply moved by my date’s vulnerability and raw emotions, only later discovering it was an elaborate ruse.

Toxic personalities also look for “damaged goods,” such as lonely divorcees and widows. They can sniff out insecurities like bloodhounds, scouring the room for people needing external validation and a fairy-tale ending. These predators then rush in quickly with declarations of true love, over-the-top romantic gestures, and constant contact, claiming you’re the soulmate that they have been looking for their entire life.

If this happens, ask yourself, “What does this person stand to gain from me? Contacts, sex, money, a green card, or a place to live? For what reason are they hurrying the relationship?”

Remember, psychopaths and sociopaths are devoid of conscience. They will always lie to win, and if you are targeted, winning means controlling you in some way, no matter how much they claim to have no such ambition.

So, what do you need after leaving a psychopathic partner?

Healing is your first step before dating again, especially if you’re dealing with a psychopath.

  1. Consider finding a therapist who specializes in treating psychological trauma survivors and narcissistic abuse.
  2. Protect your health. Your mind and body have been under immense stress. Begin to practice yoga, meditation, or deep breathing techniques. Focus on more exercise and walking in nature. Be gentle with yourself. Find a meditation app and use it.
  3. Find joy, no matter how hard it is. Start small. Keep a journal, listing the little things that make you smile. Since predation, in the long run, can cause depression, exhaustion, or illness, we need to find appreciation for life. Lean on your friends. The true ones will always be there for you.
  4. Build your support system, and do not use the word “sociopath” or “psychopath.” Most people are more at ease with “fraud,” “manipulative,” “a con,” “too slick,” or “liar.” You will be surprised to learn how many people were targeted and harmed by the same character-disordered person that you know. As news of their behavior begins circulating, these toxic people eventually leave for new hunting grounds. Psychopaths and sociopaths shed lives and locales as quickly as snakes shed skins. It’s another red flag to suss these puppies out.
  5. Understand that psychopaths and sociopaths can and will do anything without any feeling of guilt, shame, or remorse. If you are still involved with this person, whether personally or professionally, do not try to win by exacting revenge or gaining the upper hand. Focus on changing your behavior so that the sociopath doesn’t want to engage with you. These actions include non-emotional responses with the tiniest information possible (grey rock) and no contact. A toxic personality wants a sizeable emotional response from you. Please don’t give it to them. Speak calmly with a blank face.
  6. Protect yourself. Protect your children.
  7. But the most important…Build the life you want and surround yourself with good people. Do not dwell on the psychopath’s shenanigans. If you do, they win. Instead, focus on your objectives, your goals, and your happiness.

And when you’re ready to date again, remember relationships are not transactional for regular folks. They want to know if a potential partner is trustworthy before moving forward, if they’re emotionally available, and if they have solid friends and an established life.

Follow their lead and date intentionally at a slower pace and look for the following:

  1. Safety — physical, emotional, mental, verbal, and financial — a place where no one will harm you, scream at you, criticize you, or denigrate you. You need someone who will not endanger your family or financial stability, hamper your career, or steal your money, belongings, or home.
  2. Respect — After years of abuse from a toxic personality, survivors and their boundaries need to be respected. That means they need people to respect their opinions and not berate or ignore them.
  3. Appreciation — Survivors need to be valued and recognized for their gifts. Without appreciation, they can’t let their guard down and be themselves.
  4. Support — Life throws lots of curve balls. Illness. Grief. Work problems. Challenges with children. And many others. However, a true psychopath will never give you emotional support. If you need surgery, they’ll blame you for inconveniencing them or say they’re busy at work when you’re having a baby. But now that they’re gone, bring supportive friends and family back into your life.
  5. Trust — Without trust, you cannot be intimate or vulnerable. Without trust, nothing can work in a relationship. But for survivors of abuse, how do they even begin to trust others? Slowly. Very slowly. Look for potential partners who respect your past and allow you to open up to them in your time.
  6. Commitment — Committed partners sacrifice for each other and don’t expect favors. They make decisions on what’s best for the relationship. They treat each other with respect. They don’t look for other potential partners or brag that they can sleep with anyone they want or keep a harem of lovers.
  7. Be Yourself — Don’t ever make yourself small again to keep the peace in a relationship or question your worth because someone made you feel unlovable. You are AMAZING! Be all that you are — quirky, funny, intelligent, beautiful YOU!

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