They say psychopaths don’t love. We can’t love. Yet, I have been in love several times in my life and I now have a partner with whom I am growing old. I know a few psychopaths who are also in long-term relationships. Athena Walker, of Quora, had this to say about her relationship.
I would describe it this way. For me to love a person they have to show me they are worth my respect. They can’t roll over and let me have my way all the time. While that works well in a relationship that all we have interest in is what we can get out of it, it has no staying power.
For a relationship to work there has to be personalities that really get each other. I for instance have to be willing to take into account what he needs from me. This is a practice that must be consciously done and I have to make concerted effort to succeed at it. Really, it isn’t that I don’t want him to be happy, it’s just that I don’t tend to think outside of myself very often. What I want/need has always been first. To consider differently is work, and I have to be willing to do it.
It requires honesty. Not something that comes easily to me. I know what I am, more importantly, he knows as well. In knowing and also with a keen ability to read people and their intentions, he is very aware if I attempt to manipulate him and will call me on it right away. Here I am faced with a choice. I can choose to deny it and try and work him around to my point of view. This will likely cause a fight and a lot of drama I am not very interested in, or I can say yup, totally was trying to manipulate you. No fight, and I usually get what I desire anyway.
The affection part of it is hard for me. I am not a very affectionate person. I never have been. Despite how I feel about a person, be them a friend, a parent, a significant other, this has never been any different for me. It poses a problem though. Either I find someone just like me in that department, or I have to remind myself to give attention to that need.
This looks like a mature relationship based on loyalty and friendship. This is a lot like my present relationship which is going on 40 years. Before her, my longest relationship was with Jack and it lasted two years, a record for me at that point. Before Jack, my relationships were sporadic and short-lived. That’s a lot more typical of psychopaths. “Many short term relationships” is one of the characteristics of psychopathy, after all. Jim Kolb was my first and I would be with him for a while and then run away. I used his last name with my middle name when I went public.
A blog called Mirroring the Chameleon has been created by a psychopath (female) and a narcissist (male). They both knew it would be work but, so far, by understanding each other’s needs as well as their own, they are managing. They only identify themselves as “Mrs.” and “Mr.” Mrs. said about love.
Now. Picture this. You’re going about your day, entertaining fun ideas about how you might go about getting into this particular guy’s trousers, because dammit being married is no excuse for not sleeping with me, right, so, anyway, your mindset is pretty much the same as always, plot, ploy, giggle. Then all of a sudden, you realise he’s got into your head, and while your mindset might still be the same (What? what do you mean, love, i don’t fall in love, fuck you, you’ll pay for this very offensive manipulation of my perfect mind!) you realise that huh, wait, you don’t want to hurt this person. And, in for a penny, in for a pound, you could try this out for a bit, it’s new and definitely not boring, and I do enjoy experimenting on my own mind as much as on the ones of others.
It’s very confusing, uncomfortable, but you haven’t seen the worst of it yet.
Getting feelings when you aren’t used to them is like getting thrown in the ocean for your first swimming lesson. There is no more control, basically no reasoning, your whole brain is trying to swim in a sea of confusing contradictory ideas. “this hurts” “yeah, but you’re not supposed to do anything to him, it’s not his fault”. I don’t know if it was because I had never experienced so much “feeling” all at once that I had no control over my thoughts anymore or if its because emotions are inherently irrational and interfere with the thought processes of even the most accustomed user, but I was rendered useless, and I hated every second of it. I wanted to make it stop, and so I did after a while.
I never fought love when I was fortunate enough to experience it. I kind of thought my experiences of falling in love were an anomaly for a psychopath. It was only recently when a new friend on Facebook, Casi Carter, said some things about my relationships that opened my eyes.
All it takes to get in their pants is a euphoric state of admiration. This is often mistaken as an emotional connection but it’s really not; it’s the desire for euphoria not the connection itself.
Casi Carter Fran Theresa Nowve this has been something that I learned in my last relationship lol. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting and my ex used to tell me that the idealization made me him worry about abandonment. It starts before we truly know a person, as soon as the relationship starts and before know how we work together. This is why it is a pursuit of euphoria rather than the connection itself, because we have no idea what the connection really is. Euphoria blinds us into thinking we do; but the desire for it is more of a selfish idea than “love.”
I suddenly realized that this is what I’ve been experiencing. This explosive, consuming passion that transforms everything. As Taylor Swift sang, in Out of the Woods, “The whole world was black and white. We were in screaming color.” As Casi suggested, I never did get to know these lovers beyond the stage where they are like God. Why would I want to.
Things were different with Vicki. I had been the submissive in my first two relationships. With Vicki, I started as the dom. She was a sub and I thought I was experienced enough in BDSM to “move on” to the dominant role. Playing this role forced me to see her as she really was. I had to understand her intimately to be able to get into her head and give her the kind of experience she was seeking. I enjoyed the creativity of the dominant role but it didn’t do much for me sexually. In time, I realized I missed the sub role. At the same time, Vicki was expressing the desire to top me. Once I saw the episode of Law and Order: SVU called “Slaves” based on the real case of “the girl in the box.” I thought the real thing heinous and the perp who subjected a girl he had kidnapped to severe torture with no consent. Funny, the way they represented it in the TV show, made the whole thing very sexy. The dom in the story was really handsome and charismatic, and the fantasy of seeing how much I could “take,” turned me on.
So the upshot was Vicki and I switched roles. Our scenes were more successful on my end. While dominating Vicki turned her on, something was missing for me. Now we were in our natural roles. During scenes, I would suddenly see Vicki, whom I hadn’t glorified before, as a Goddess. Well, for the duration. The rest of the time, we are ourselves. Our relationship is a lot like the one Athena described. I’m lucky to have someone stable in my life after all the madness of youth.