Here are some signs that might indicate that you are dating a psychopath. You might get mad at people for trying to convince you to break up with your partner, or make excuses for your partner because you are convinced that you are the only one that understands him or her. He or she feels entitled to act the way that they do. You might try to talk about how you are feeling–your partner turns everything around and tries to talk about everything you’re doing wrong. Even when they hurt you, they make you feel bad for the pain it has caused them. They often don’t actually feel guilty about what they have done, only that they were caught. Other people might warn you about dating your partner–if they have a track record of abuse, most likely it is only a matter of time until they abuse you. Your friends and family wish that you would break up.
They might lose their temper in the middle of a restaurant because they think you are flirting with the waiter. You’re not always sure what the problem is, but things never add up. If you follow what they say, things still don’t get better.They might bring up personal issues at inappropriate times. If you work hard to fix one thing, they will find something else that is wrong. They always have an excuse or a story or someone to blame: someone caused them to act the way that they did.Expecting that you can go to sleep one night determined to leave the pain of an adult child’s rejection behind, and wake up over it, isn’t realistic. I’ve gleaned a few tips from my own experience with my estranged adult child as well as from studies, books, and articles that can help. Fearing judgment, you may be embarrassed to share your painful truth. Keeping a journal or simply free-writing about your feelings may provide a safe way to offload them. You may be experiencing a stress response that isn’t good for you.And you may be right to hold back with people at work, or certain friends you feel won’t understand or will judge you. Some find an online group designed as support for parents of estranged adult children useful. Acknowledging your feelings, whether in a journal or by sharing with others you trust can be healthy, but not to excess or in a negative way. Do you catch yourself saying aloud or thinking, “I’ll never get over this..” Are you continually asking questions, such as, “Why do these sorts of things always happen to me? This suggestion may sound trite, but if negative thoughts can produce more negative thoughts, positive thoughts can be as fruitful. As reported in the Harvard Health Newsletter, researchers at Hope College in Michigan found that changing one’s thoughts about a stressful situation, perhaps by considering the parts you handled well or imagining offering forgiveness, changes the body’s responses. One day, he is caring and loving and wonderful, and the next he is hateful and raging and mean. You are afraid to talk, or when you do talk you feel like you are never heard, your words are taken out of context, misunderstood, or blatantly ignored. In the beginning of a relationship they might seem like everything you ever wanted….usually this is because they are trying to act like everything you ever wanted. You have no support group and therefore your partner gains more power. He or she might be mean to people they think are “below them” or people who are defenseless, like babies or children.
Like flipping a switch, he can change drastically from one extreme to the next. He or she acts one way when they are around you, but completely different around your parents, and completely different around their friends. Slowly, you lose your friends until you feel like your partner is the only person you have left. Your partner cycles from mean and vicious to sweet and loving, then back again. He might set traps for squirrels or rabbits and then torture them.If they hit you, they will make you feel like it was because of something you did wrong. Talk to a member of the opposite sex, they interrogate you about it. You better be ready to explain where you were and what you were doing and why you were doing it. Teachers and bosses are trying to make things hard for them on purpose.If they cheat on you, they will blame it on something you couldn’t provide them. You start to feel like you are playing a game to which there are no rules and there is no way out. Your partner has to know where you are and what you are doing at all times. He or she might spy on you, check the messages on your phone, talk to your friends without you knowing, have people “check up” on you, hack into your email account or Facebook to see who you are talking to. But they make you feel like you have to stay with them no matter how they treat you, or that they can’t help the way that they act. No matter what they do, or have done, nothing is ever their fault. If you are a peaceful person, you might find yourself constantly fighting. You feel like there is something seriously wrong with you. You might say that you aren’t comfortable staying overnight together–your partner does so anyway. He or she might get upset–especially if you try to break up with them or say that you are leaving–however, there is no underlying remorse for hurting you. He or she might say that they are sorry if they hurt you (hit you, scream at you, cheat on you…etc.) and promise that it will never happen again, but their apology is more manipulative than sincere. They might speak badly about a previous partner, claiming that their previous partner was crazy, or a bitch, or an asshole. They will make you feel like you are the one that is going crazy instead of them. You might worry about what you wear and what you say and freak out if someone changes your plans or something unexpected happens that you will have to explain later. You’re not quite sure what will set them off, but you are afraid that something you do is going to make them lose their temper… You might think that the Bears are the best football team–your partner will convince you that you are stupid for thinking so because they suck. They might talk about cheating on an old partner, or be proud of their reputation.Or, if they do something nice for you, they feel entitled to a reward, and if you don’t do what they want, they are entitled to punish you. Your partner embarrasses you in front of other people or talks badly behind your back. They might talk to other people about how bad they have it and how hard it is to date someone like you.