30 Signs You’re In A Relationship With A Psychopath

By molly atherton 7 months ago
Love, trust, and companionship are the foundation of any healthy relationship, but what happens when the person you thought was your soulmate reveals a darker side? While the term "psychopath" may conjure images of Hollywood villains, the reality is that psychopathy exists in everyday life, often hiding behind a charming facade. Unraveling the enigma of a psychopathic partner can be a daunting task, as their manipulation and deceit can be exceptionally subtle.

They're Superficially Charming

Charm can be an intoxicating force that draws people in, creating an illusion of warmth and sincerity. Psychopaths, however, wield charm not as a genuine expression of connection but as a calculated tool to manipulate those around them. This charming facade is their armor, concealing the cold and calculating nature that lies beneath.
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Psychopaths excel in being charming in order to flatter people, get what they want and be liked. While this is possible for people to naturally possess these traits, a psychopath's charming nature will often be superficial. They won't really mean what they say, they're just being charming for the sake of it.

They Constantly Need To Be Stimulated And Bore Easily

The desire for stimulation is a fundamental thread that weaves through the tapestry of human connection. However, when dealing with a psychopath, this yearning takes on an entirely different, and often unsettling, dimension. Psychopaths, driven by an insatiable appetite for excitement, navigate the intricacies of relationships with a constant craving for stimulation.
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Psychopaths crave that stimulation, whatever it may mean to them. It could be simply the act of doing something, getting attention or achieving some sort of goal. They might often get bored very easily, such as suddenly switching to bored and irritable during a day out.

They Try To Manipulate You, Or Others

One hallmark of psychopathic manipulation is its unpredictability. Just when you think you have a grasp on the situation, the sands shift beneath your feet. Psychopaths are adept at adapting their manipulative strategies, making it challenging to discern the true extent of their deceit. It's a game of psychological chess where the rules are ever-changing, and the stakes are high.
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Manipulation is a key tactic when it comes to a psychopath. They want what they want, and they'll use you and others to get it. You may not even know you're being manipulated, or they may not have even manipulated you but choose to manipulate others instead - like family members or colleagues. The manipulation could be to change their opinion of something, or to physically get something.  

They Lie On A Regular Basis

Picture this: your partner casually fibbing about the trivial matter of misplacing the car keys. Innocuous, right? Except, in the world of a psychopath, even the smallest untruths can snowball into a series of deceptive narratives.
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Habitually lying is another key sign. It doesn't even have to be tall tales, either. It could be the simplest lie, like lying about why they left the car keys. If you're finding that you're calling them out on a stack of lies that just keep adding up, this could be a sign.

They Lack Empathy

Empathy acts as the glue that binds individuals together, fostering understanding, compassion, and mutual support. Yet, when entangled in the web of a relationship with a psychopath, this foundational trait is conspicuously absent, leaving behind a chilling void that can shatter the very essence of emotional intimacy.
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Empathy is one of the biggest traits a psychopath can lack. This is because they simply don't care about understanding other people's feelings. If their behaviour is hurting someone - such as you- they may be unable to empathise with you, or be unwilling to even try. They just can't put themselves in your shoes.

Display Impulsive Behaviour

These momentary lapses in judgment are woven into the fabric of our lives. However, when it comes to psychopaths, impulsivity takes on a more sinister guise. It's not just about snagging a deal on a pair of shoes; it's about a reckless pursuit of instant gratification that can leave a trail of chaos in its wake.
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We're all guilty of impulsive behaviour sometimes - buying something we probably shouldn't because it's on sale, for example - but for a psychopath, this could be dangerously impulsive behaviour. Getting into debt with bold purchases, or making impulsive decisions about the home or career. Or it could be everyday acts of impulsiveness.

They Refuse To Accept Responsibility For Their Actions

Apologies, for most, signify remorse and a willingness to rectify mistakes. However, for a psychopath, an apology is an admission of vulnerability and an acknowledgment of wrongdoing—two concepts diametrically opposed to their self-fashioned invincibility.
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A psychopath doesn't want to be blamed. They don't believe they should be blamed. And if they are directly responsible for something, the chances are they aren't going to apologise off their own bat because they don't want to accept responsibility for their own actions. This could apply to anything - home life, relationships or work.

They Have A Huge Ego

One key thread woven into their personality is a grandiose sense of importance that often becomes glaringly evident over time. Picture a partner whose ego seems to outshine even the most radiant stars, a person convinced that they stand on a pedestal above the rest.
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A grandiose sense of importance goes hand in hand with a psychopath a lot of the time. They're going to have a huge ego, which is why they believe so vehemently that they're always in the right, they're a charming and amazing person, and they deserve to get what they want through any means necessary.

They're Self-Obsessed

The challenge lies in overcoming obstacles together, finding middle ground, and fostering understanding. But when your significant other is a psychopath, this ordinary hurdle becomes a labyrinth of self-interest. They navigate the maze with a singular focus on their wants and needs, leaving little room for compromise or collaboration.
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A psychopath is going to look out for number one, and it won't be you if you're in a relationship with one. They're going to be obsessed with themselves and what they want. With this in mind, you may find it difficult to work out a compromise in a relationship if you hit any hurdles, as they're only focusing on what they're doing and what they want.

They Don't Show Any Remorse For Their Actions

Much like the haunting lack of empathy, psychopaths display a disturbing disconnection from the remorse that typically accompanies wrongdoing. It's not just about evading responsibility; it's a profound inability to internalize the impact of their actions on others.
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In the same vein as lacking empathy, psychopaths won't show remorse or guilt. They can't empathise, sympathise or feel bad about anything if it's benefitted them, or if they stand by their actions. Even if you, or anyone else, gets hurt by what they've done, they probably aren't going to care - even if they claim they do.

They Try And Justify Any Wrongdoings

In the world of a psychopath, the concept of admitting fault is alien, and any semblance of responsibility is shrouded in a relentless defense mechanism. Should they find themselves cornered by their own actions, these individuals possess an uncanny ability to wriggle out of accountability.
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If they've done anything wrong, they're going to try and wriggle out of it. And a lot of the time this might not be denying it, it might just be trying to claim why what they did was the right thing, and why it had to be done. They'll claim they did the right thing and that's that. There's no convincing them otherwise.

They Have A Shallow Outlook On Things

One glaring characteristic of psychopathy is the obsession with maintaining a meticulously crafted image. Their fixation on the external trappings of success is not rooted in genuine achievement or fulfillment but rather in the desire to project an illusion of prosperity.
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Psychopaths often focus on their own image, and how important that image is. This could be their status, power or wealth. They often have a shallow outlook on things because they can't see the deeper level. They might want the surface level of looking as though they're successful, rich or anything else that makes them look good.

They Try To Exploit The Goodwill Of Others

The ability to charm and deceive becomes an art form, leaving unsuspecting partners ensnared in a web of deceit. Picture this scenario: a psychopathic individual recognizes the inherent goodness in those around them, including friends, family members, and, yes, even you.
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As mentioned, manipulation can be a go-to tactic. If they can then use this to exploit other people's goodwill, they're probably going to do it. If they know that friends, family members or other people they know (including you) are kind, generous people, they might try to exploit that to get something from you.

They Can't Seem To Hold A Long-Term Relationship

Psychopaths are adept at presenting a facade of normalcy, concealing their true nature beneath a veneer of charisma. They excel at creating a narrative that draws you in, making you feel special and unique in their eyes. Unraveling the intricacies of such relationships requires a keen awareness of these subtle indicators.
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You may have got into a relationship with someone new and it's looking good for the long-term deal. But if they're telling you stories about how you're the first long-term relationship they've had after a string of short and failed relationships, this might be a red flag.

They Are Sexually Promiscuous

When it comes to unraveling the intricate web of a relationship with a psychopath, one of the most unsettling signs can be the revelation of infidelity. It's a betrayal that cuts deep, and the psychopath's ability to seamlessly blend deceit with charm can leave you questioning the very foundations of trust.
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Your partner might also have been sleeping with other people while in a relationship with you, or maybe they've told you about how many people they've slept with in the past. This again falls into the point of them not being able to hold a long-term relationship. Psychopaths can look for those impulsive and shallow connections of sleeping around.

They Don't Have Any Long-Term Goals

The psychopath's struggle with long-term commitment becomes evident through their habitual engagement in impulsive behavior. Unlike individuals who carefully consider the consequences of their actions, psychopaths are driven by an insatiable desire for instant gratification — a craving for the "here and now."
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This can fall into the same idea that they struggle with that long-term commitment aspect. That isn't to say that psychopaths can't create long-term goals, but usually these might be completely unrealistic and highly likely to fail. Psychopaths might care for nothing more than the here and now - impulsive behaviour - and what they want in the here and now.

They Don't Have Respect For Authority

Image Source / EntrepreneurPsychopaths, with their huge egos and inability to admit when they're wrong, are naturally going to have a problem with authority. This could be the biggest authority figure of all, such as the government or the police, or it could be their boss. It could even be you trying to put your foot down with relationship issues and them not liking you acting as though you're in charge.

They Never Admit They're Wrong

The apologies of a psychopath are akin to a well-rehearsed performance, a tool wielded with precision to either extract what they desire or to deceive you into believing in their remorse. The insincerity in their words becomes a chilling revelation, a reminder that even the most seemingly genuine moments can be skillfully engineered to further their agenda.
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A psychopath's ego is never going to let them admit that they're in the wrong. Even if they say they're wrong or apologise, this can be another manipulation tactic just to get what they want or make you believe they're sorry when they're not. You might find you're in frequent arguments with them where they just refuse to admit they are at fault.

They Never Believe They're Wrong

In the twisted landscape of a psychopath's mind, acknowledging their own errors becomes an act of defiance against the very core of their being. Their ego, inflated to staggering proportions, acts as an impenetrable shield, warding off any possibility of self-reflection.
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It goes far beyond simply admitting they're wrong, too. In their mind, they actually convince themselves there's no possible way they could be wrong. Because their ego won't allow it. If something has gone wrong or a fall out has happened, they won't believe they're not in the right - and they'll never budge on that.

They're Very Intelligent

In the twisted landscape of a psychopath's mind, acknowledging their own errors becomes an act of defiance against the very core of their being. Their ego, inflated to staggering proportions, acts as an impenetrable shield, warding off any possibility of self-reflection.
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Psychopaths are often very high-functioning and have a high intelligence score. That doesn't mean that they're a mastermind or that only intelligent people can be psychopaths - in fact, psychopaths can have very low intelligence too - it's more about they're usually very clever in their actions and manipulations.

They Don't Show Signs Of A Conscience

Their ego, inflated to staggering proportions, acts as an impenetrable shield, warding off any possibility of self-reflection. It's not just a refusal to admit fault; it's a wholesale denial that such a concept could apply to them.
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Lacking empathy is one step away from lacking a conscience, too. There might not really by any sense of right or wrong, and more what they believe is right and when they believe they're never in the wrong. They may not feel any guilt about manipulating people or taking advantage of people to get what they want.

They Don't Have Any Inhibitions

The presence of a psychopathic partner can cast a chilling shadow on the once warm glow of companionship, leaving behind a trail of deceit and manipulation. One striking characteristic of psychopathy is the relentless pursuit of personal desires, unimpeded by societal norms or moral inhibitions.
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Psychopaths usually aren't stopped by anything getting in their way, so it's likely they won't have inhibitions in social situations or situations where they need to show their reward-seeking and confidence. They don't tend to be shy or withdrawn because they have the confidence to be charming when they need to be.

They Have A History Of Problematic Behaviour (Especially As A Child)

Understanding the intricate nuances of a psychopath's behavior requires delving into the roots of their complex psyche. One of the first clues to identify a potential psychopath lies in their history, where patterns of difficult behavior may have taken root and woven a tapestry of dysfunction.
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Psychopaths may have a history of difficult behaviour. This sense of self importance or lack of empathy may have manifested young and may have led to issues between them as a child and other children or people. Or they may just have a history of problematic behaviour as an adult, such as failed relationships.

They Show Reckless Behaviour

Psychopaths, by definition, display a marked inability to feel remorse or learn from their mistakes. This deficiency in emotional regulation means that the consequences of reckless actions fail to register in their consciousness in the same way they would for individuals with a more typical emotional response.
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As mentioned, psychopaths can have no inhibitions when it comes to their impulses, which can result in reckless behaviour. The reason they're also more likely to behave recklessly on a regular basis is because they have difficulty feeling remorse or difficulty learning from mistakes, which can mean reckless actions repeated again and again.

You've Been Love-Bombed And Flattered To The Max

Meeting someone new and experiencing a whirlwind of affection can be exhilarating, almost like stepping into a fairy tale where love knows no bounds. However, as the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
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You've met someone new and they've showered you with extreme love and affection. It can seem too good to be true that somebody can show you that much affection - so of course you're going to date them. But love-bombing is a dangerous manipulation tactic. The psychopath will want to disarm you by many displays of affection so they can lure you in.

And Then They'll Suddenly Act Like They're Bored Of You

Love-bombing is a dangerous tactic employed by psychopaths to draw their victims in, creating an illusion of an ideal partner. The peril lies in the abrupt transformation that follows once the psychopath believes they have secured your commitment—be it entering a relationship or moving in together.
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The reason love-bombing is a dangerous tactic is that it can often be the first step in a cycle of abuse. Once you have been lured in by the vast amounts of affection - such as agreeing to enter a relationship or move in with them - they may suddenly stop their affection and act bored of you. This is because they have got what they want and can now use their love-bombing as a reason to make you feel bad for complaining about them being distant.

They'll Spin A Sob Story Or Two

These narratives, however, are not merely the echoes of a troubled past; they are carefully crafted tools wielded by the psychopath to manipulate your emotions. The psychopathic partner may regale you with sob stories, each more dramatic than the last, claiming that every ex-lover has been unfaithful or treated them with unforgivable cruelty.
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As part of their manipulation tactics, psychopaths might tell very tall tales to get you on side. While you're dating them, they might tell you sob stories about how every ex has cheated on them or treated them horribly when it might not even be true. They'll say anything to garner sympathy.

Power Games Can Be Normality

The insidious allure of power is a driving force for psychopaths, who relish the feeling of superiority and control. In their minds, relationships are not mutual partnerships but rather a stage for their grand performance.
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Psychopaths enjoy having power over people, feeling as though they're the master puppeteer. Power games will be common, with them feeling smug or getting a buzz from seeing the successful result of their mind games or manipulations. Power games could include psychological abuse like gaslighting.

If There's A Problem, Then You're The Problem

When you muster the courage to articulate valid points about their actions or behavior, don't be surprised if met with a dismissive glance or a defensive stance. Psychopaths are notorious for their inability to acknowledge wrongdoing or take responsibility for their actions.
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If there are problems in the relationship and you try to talk it out with them, it can be like talking to a brick wall. If you have valid points to make about what they've done wrong, they probably won't want to hear it. If you're complaining about the relationship then you're the one creating problems, in their eyes. They may even gaslight you into thinking you're imagining a problem where there isn't one.

You Don't Even Know Yourself Anymore

Discovering that you're in a relationship with a psychopath is not merely an acknowledgment of your partner's dark side; it's a stark revelation about the person you've become. The aftermath of such a union often leaves a trail of emotional wreckage, transforming the once happy, carefree, and relaxed version of yourself into a shadow of what you once were.
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Knowing you're in a relationship with a psychopath can be a lot about who you have become as a person. As a result of such a relationship, you may find that you're not the happy, carefree and relaxed person you were. You may be riddled with self-doubt and anxiety because of how the psychopath has manipulated you to feel.

They Enjoy The Thrill Of Danger

One hallmark of psychopathy is their seemingly insatiable appetite for danger, a trait that distinguishes them from the general population. While most individuals might experience a surge of anxiety or trepidation at the thought of engaging in illegal or hazardous activities, psychopaths revel in it.
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They completely enjoy the thrill of danger and have no real sense of it. Doing illegal things or dangerous things seems fun for them rather than instilling a sense of anxiety as it would for most people. And they lack a sense of morality so these coupled together is a dangerous combination.

They May Call You Boring Because You Do Not

Unlike the emotional resonance most individuals experience, psychopaths navigate peril with an unsettling nonchalance, often dragging their partners into a world of perilous choices.
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Because they do not have the same feelings as other people, their relationship to danger is very different from the norm - and so they may encourage you to also do dangerous/ illegal things along with them. If you refuse they may try and tell you that you are boring and no fun to be around and make you question yourself.

They Frequently Play On Your Emotions

Psychopaths possess an uncanny knack for orchestrating a symphony of emotions, manipulating their partners like skilled maestros manipulating instruments. Every note, every crescendo, carefully calculated to elicit specific emotional responses.
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As we have seen physcopaths are the masters of manipulation. And so playing on your emotions is all part and parcel of this. They will play on your emotions constanly to get you to feel however they intend at the time - for entirely their own purpose or own satisfaction.

You Don't Trust Them

From the outset, a psychopath will present an illusion of trustworthiness that feels almost magnetic. Their charisma, charm, and seemingly genuine interest in your life create a comforting façade, drawing you into a sense of security. Yet, as the relationship deepens, the ground beneath this illusion begins to shift.
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A pyscopath will give you every reason not to trust them, and so you won't - for very good reason. Because it very unlikely that you really can trust them, whether this is with your emotions or finances. At the starts of the relationship they will gain your trust and then slowly things will start to reverse.

They Tell You That You Can't Break Up With Them

Entering into a relationship with a psychopath is akin to stepping onto a treacherous path obscured by charm and charisma. As the initial infatuation gives way to the unsettling reality of their true nature, the realization sets in — extracting oneself from this emotional labyrinth is a daunting challenge.
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Once you are in a relationship with a psycopath it will feel very difficult to get out of the relationship. In fact, they will probably tell you that you can never leave them, making you feel anxious about how they would react if you ever decided to leave them.

They Involve You In Love Triangles

Psychopaths are renowned for their charismatic charm, drawing people towards them like moths to a flame. While their charisma may initially seem like a captivating quality, it often serves as a smokescreen for their insatiable need for attention.
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A psycopath will never be satisfied witht he attention from one person, and feeling attention from multiple people is what they crave. They will involve other people and try to display to you how 'in demand' they are so that you feel lucky to have them.

They Call You Crazy

In the twisted world of a psychopathic relationship, one of the most insidious weapons in their arsenal is gaslighting. It's a psychological game that leaves you questioning your own reality and sanity, all orchestrated by the puppet master in disguise.
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A psycopath will make you feel as though you are crazy...and they will probably tell you that you are so that you question yourself and not them. Their actions will intend to make you feel on edge and their words will make you question if it is you and not them...

And Over Sensitive

In the labyrinth of a relationship with a psychopath, one of the disconcerting signs you may encounter is their propensity to dismiss your genuine emotions by labeling you as "over-sensitive." It's a gaslighting technique designed to undermine your perception of reality and shift blame for their own actions onto you.    
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They will also most probably call you over sensitive on a frequent basis. When in response to their words or actions you display the very emotion that they intended to provoke - they will call you over sensitive and blame your response on you rather than on them.

They Rewrite Reality

Psychopaths possess an uncanny ability to reshape the truth, molding reality to suit their own narrative. It's not a mere act of forgetfulness or differing perspectives; it's a deliberate and calculated manipulation. Every event, every conversation, and every shared experience becomes a canvas upon which they paint a version of reality that aligns with their desires and objectives.
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Reality to them is completely based on their ideas of the truth. They will totally rewrite reality so that their version of events are totally different to what actually happened. This is done so that everything fits their narrative and probably to excuse or justify their own behaviour.

They Frequently Try To Make You Jealous

What distinguishes these manipulative maneuvers is the psychopath's ability to seamlessly transition from provocateur to victim. As the flames of jealousy burn, they skillfully turn the tables, casting you as the overly possessive partner. The blame game begins, with accusations of unfounded jealousy hurled your way.
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Making you feel jealous is an extremely common occurence when being in a relationship with a psycopath. They will use other people, who may be exes or people from their past to make you feel jealous. They will then most likely blame you for being over jealous, rather than admitting their fault.

They Are Very Selfish

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If you are in a relationship with a psycopath or know of somebody who is, you will know that they are extremely selfish. The only person they truly care about is themselves and everybody else is merely to fulfil a purpose. Your needs will not be on their radar as a priority.

They Make You Feel Anxious

In the early stages of the relationship, the psychopath's charm may have been intoxicating, weaving a spell that initially disguised the emotional turbulence lurking beneath the surface. As time unfolds, you find yourself grappling with a pervasive unease, an omnipresent feeling of being on edge.
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You will find yourself feeling completely anxious. Being in a relationship drains you and you end up feeling anxious all of the time about almost everything. Of course, this is not something that they will recognise as their fault and they will blame this on yourself.

They Are Unpredictable In Mood And Actions

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Being in a relationship with somebody like this means that they are totally unpredicatble in both their moods and actions. You will feel totally on edge as to whether they will be in a good/bad mood or how they will act. And this can all change in a second.

They Ruin Relationships With Your Friends

Navigating a relationship with a psychopath is akin to walking on a tightrope suspended between unpredictability and instability. The rollercoaster of emotions and actions can leave you perpetually on edge, uncertain about whether you're stepping onto solid ground or teetering on the precipice of chaos.
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You may have noticed if you have ever been in this situation or have witnessed people in relationships with psycopaths that they begin to become distanced from friends or loved ones. They will make it difficult fo you to see other people and they may cause issues in your relationships with friends/family and reasons for you not to see them and spend time with them.

They Have A Constant Thirst For Attention

Psychopaths, by nature, require a constant influx of admiration and acknowledgment. The problem arises when you realize that, no matter how much attention and affection you pour into the relationship, it's never enough.
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Their thirst for attention is never ending. And after that initial 'honeymoon' period you will realise that you cannot satisfy their craving for attention because they tend to need it from lots of people. As a result of this it will make you feel as though you can never fulfill their needs.

They Make You Question Yourself

One of the most insidious aspects of being entangled with a psychopath is their masterful manipulation, leaving you in a constant state of self-doubt. Their charm, often unparalleled, becomes a smokescreen, masking the darker motives beneath.
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Because of their powers of manipulation, being in a relationship with a psychopath will make your question yourself. They will make you question your feelings and if they are valid and they will make you question whether it is actually you that is in the wrong.

They Are Very Narcissistic

Imagine a relationship where every interaction, decision, and emotion orbits around the gravitational force of one person – the psychopath. This isn't a partnership; it's a one-man show with a captivating lead who thrives on self-obsession.
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Being in a relationship with a psychopath, is essentially being in a relationship with someone who only loves themselves or has thoughts for themselves. And so, everything will be about them and their needs and emotions. You will be and feel secondary and insignificant to them.

You End Up Spending A Lot Of Money On Them

As the financial burden intensifies, so does the emotional toll. The psychopathic partner, adept at leveraging your sense of empathy and commitment, skillfully weaves a narrative that paints them as the victim, subtly deflecting blame and responsibility.
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Being in a relationship with a psychopath ends up draining you not only emotionally but also financially. They are often financially dependent on others because they have no self discipline or control with their funds. They will also provide an excuse as to why they cannot currently provide for themselves.

They Use Personal Information Against You

It's a chilling realization that the very intimacy you thought would bind you together becomes a weapon in the hands of a psychopath. As you grapple with the echoes of your own secrets turned against you, it becomes clear that the journey from infatuation to entrapment is a treacherous one.
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The thing is with being with a psychopath, the start of the relationship was so great as we have already seen and so you open up fully to this person. This means that you have probably shared personal information about yourself with them, and they will bring this up in the future and hold it against you - for example, if you tried to break up with them.

They Have Bursts Of Uncontrolled Anger

The absence of foresight into the consequences of their actions sets the stage for potential fights and, in some instances, even violence. It's not uncommon for a psychopathic partner to engage in physical altercations, driven by the impulsive nature of their emotional outbursts.
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A psychopath cannot control their emotions. So, when they have a burst of anger they will display it in a rage. They do not think about the consequences of their actions and so they let their emotions take full rein. Because of this, they sometimes end up in fights or violence.