Women Who Love Psychopaths by Sandra Brown
We often see the word psychopath and associate it with television shows and true-crime documentaries, but what we don’t realize is that psychopaths are all around us. Psychopaths belong to a group of personality disorders labeled as Cluster B. Other disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder also belong to the Cluster B group. Cluster B disorders essentially mean that a person has problems with empathy for others, puts themselves above everyone else, and can absolutely devastate those around them and not care one bit.
Unfortunately, women who end up in relationships with psychopaths end up mentally and emotionally ravaged to such a degree that it’s like a tornado went through their brains. These women don’t suspect they’re with someone who is a psychopath because they have no idea what to look out for, but also because psychopaths are very good at pretending to be normal human beings. Before these women know it, they are in so deep in an abusive situation that it’s difficult to pull away.
The aftermath of a relationship with a psychopath is devastating as well. The women are often left as shells of their former selves and then finding the help they need to heal is incredibly difficult or maybe even impossible. These women may have PTSD and other major issues that are often misdiagnosed as codependency or simply depression.
It takes time to heal from a relationship with a psychopath and society is not currently set up to prevent these types of situations.
What I liked
Sandra let me read her book and I’ve had it for over a month. It’s a large book and it’s also very meaty. The book is very informative in a very scary way. Books like this are absolutely needed and I am glad that Sandra wrote this fairly comprehensive explanation of what a psychopath is and what a relationship with a psychopath does to a person. We absolutely need more education on this subject. Women, and everybody really, need to know more about tactics that abusers and psychopaths use. We need to know how to protect ourselves, or at least be able to try to protect ourselves. Stuff like this needs to be taught in schools, at church, and at home.
I’ve mentioned before that I was in a mentally abusive marriage for a number of years. So many of the things Sandra details are absolutely spot on for things that were done to me and said to me during that time. If I would have been armed with the knowledge in this book maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have married the guy in the first place, but who knows? The fact that so many of the behaviors detailed in this book were so much like my ex made it difficult for me to read this book for long periods of time. I can’t say whether or not my ex was a psychopath because I am not a trained professional, but there’s certainly a huge amount of this book that rings true; I would have to say that my ex was some kind of hybrid religious psychopath if that’s a thing.
People absolutely do not take how devastating relationships with someone who is mentally abusive can be serious. My ex made me feel like I wasn’t a person and terrorized me when I tried to get away from him. There’s this space where I knew something was wrong, but also knew that no one would care.
The idea of cognitive dissonance that Sandra mentions is definitely something I experienced and something that probably happens in all manner of abusive relationships. We know a person being abusive is bad, but there was that time he was really sweet. How is a person supposed to reconcile a person acting like a snake in people clothes with the fact that sometimes they do good things?
When I was trying to get away from my ex, I pointed out to him that I would never do the things to him that he was doing to me. His response was that I absolutely would. He really believed that everyone would treat each other the way he treated me given the chance. The things he did to me never even crossed my mind as things I would do to another human being. I guess that’s an illustration of how people who have these personality disorders think.
The whole book was very enlightening and it did explain quite a bit. I wish everyone had this information.
What I didn’t like
Sandra’s book is great. I will say that if you’re looking into researching these people who are mental manipulators, for whatever reason, that you might want to look into something simpler first, like Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft. then progress into a book like Sandra’s. I think this book would be a bit too much for someone who has just started researching abuse and personality disorders.
It’s scary to think that there are so many people with these personality disorders out there. What are we supposed to do about it? The only thing I can say to do is avoid these people entirely once you realize what they are. These disorders are so common and disordered people are so good at what they do that at some point in our lives, someone has been playing with our brains and we never even realized it. That’s scary.
It’s also sad to think that maybe some of our good traits attract people with disordered personalities and we’re more prone to tolerating their behavior because we’re so accommodating.
Psychopaths are much more common than we think and relationships with them are devastating.
Is there someone in your life that you’ve encountered that you’re pretty sure had a Cluster B disorder?
What relationship dynamics and facts do you think need to be taught explicitly at school, at church, and in the home?