Sanctuary for the Abused

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Charmer/ Abusers and their 'Prey'

wolf in sheeps clothing Pictures, Images and Photos

Obviously, we want to know how we ever get caught up in a spiderweb in the first place. If we were conscious of what we were doing, we would not be doing it. Or at least, a great number of us would not be doing it. This personality that I refer to as Charmer/Abuser.

You need to view a
charmer/abuser as someone who probably does not have the same values as you at all. They are a chameleon because it serves their purpose. They quickly "put on" whatever "you are" and "need" in order to use you for whatever they need from you. They are, indeed, a great sales person. The kind that "does not" repel you in the beginning, but instead, almost magically draws you closer and closer and closer very quickly. How do they gain entrance into your life? Read the following and take the time to look back over your life. There is opportunity here for life changes.

A
charmer/abuser looks for victims with the following characteristics (just one will do):
They listen intently to you, as you, voluntarily tell them your innermost thoughts, secrets, deep hurts and dreams. They quickly assimilate from this what kind of camouflage to weave "for you". You basically tell them what to become, in order that they might hide who they really are from you... while erecting the man of your dreams right before your eyes. While they may not come over completely to your way of thinking about everything, they will agree with you on certain things that are very important to you. For example, if you have been abused in your life, they will assume the position of "protector" and will be a great empathizer regarding your pain, at least in the beginning...

They look for the "red flashing lights" and become a ready-made ally for you in some way. If you are a single mother, he might all "too quickly" become super-man, because he knows how vulnerable you are in this respect.

They quickly want to become physical with you because once that happens, you instantly have a cloud over your eyes.
Charmer/abuser's know this about women, especially wounded women and they use it to their utmost advantage. If the sex is good, they assume you will follow them anywhere. Charmer/abuser's know that touch and physical gratification in the sexual realm is like a drug for you. It's almost like heroin for some women who have been sexually abused. It tells a woman, in an instant "microwave push-button" sort of way that they are wanted, worthy and valuable. Of course, this is so very far from the truth. But, it works. It works very well. And Charmer/abuser's know that whatever radar you did have going on will now be majorly disconnected. Kind of like the burglar who snips all the wires to the phone and the electricity before entering the home to steal the valuables.

He listens to what you tell him about how people have controlled or manipulated you in the past and he uses the same weapons, but may employ different maneuvers so you don't recognize it. For example, you say that you could not stand it when your last boyfriend was jealous of you all the time. He then never berates you like the other boyfriend did by always flying off the handle, but might take a more quiet and passive route of doing it. He may just drop little hints constantly, but in such a way that you can't really call him on. It just becomes the continual dripping faucet in your life.

He's always calling you when you're supposed to be home for no apparent reason, or calling you right when you are to be home, or later that night he shows up with a convincing reason, but really might be more along the lines of are you really alone? But, it's just really hard to nail him on his jealousy because he isn't really blatant about it in your book. This is "blatant", but "you don't recognize it as that". This is the important thing to see here. He will take advantage of your "cloudiness" here and will disguise it as him just caring about you in some way. And you will hesitate time and time again to really call it for what it is.

Charmer/Abuser
's will capitalize on your need to be needed in their life. And you are needed by them. Otherwise, they would not be reeling you in. They know that you are going to equate your worth, as a woman, based on how much you can do for them and be "needed" by them. And... they do need you, for something (sex, money, fun, a place to live...). So, consequently, in their mind it's a fair trade. You need to be needed and they need something from you.

Do not kid yourself into believing this is going to be a fair trade. They stroke your ego and your emotional side for awhile and they drain from you whatever they want. There is no need for them to have a conscience about this, because it's like any other sales contract. If you don't read the fine print, (which is what this writing is about) it's "buyer beware" and tough luck. A deal's a deal.

You can project your own interpretation on it all you want. In fact, they want you to. They are counting on that. But... your projection, regardless of how much you believe it... doesn't ever make it fact. You buy the illusion, and they make a sale!

Now which is it that is really more important here? Is it the need for you to get something of worth, or is it more important for you to be lied to because it feels familiar to you? Do you have an intense need to be sold to? If so, then who was the person in your past that you loved and yet they lied to you by what they said and how they treated you? Little girls believe very easily - when they are looking up to a very important man in their lives. They are larger than life and you are not able to look at them realistically using a child's mind. If they betrayed you, abandoned you, rejected you, or assaulted you in any way you are apt to make excuses for them because you need them in your life in some way.

A grown-up version of this will allow themselves to become prey to a charmer/abuser and you constantly second-guess your own thoughts and feelings and will make endless excuses for this man. You will just automatically think and feel with your little girl mind in this scenario of having a man in your life. Whereas in other areas of your life you may be very mature, grown-up and responsible.

You will not always do this if you will allow yourself to learn why you do what you do and how to gradually prevent it. It took time to lay down the foundation of what is unhealthy in your life. It will take time to rip it up and replace it with what is good and constructive. Again, time is your friend.


Charmer/Abuser's need for you to quickly put them into your inner circle whereby you consider them to be of like-minds with you, a kindred spirit, soul-mate sort of thing. When that happens - you basically dismiss a lot of red flags because you have completely validated them as being like you in some majorly important ways. This are usually sensitive issues. Where you "really live" kind of issues. Therefore, you cannot possibly suspect them of a lot of things. It would be like putting yourself on trial!

Think about this one very hard. It is one of the worst "snags" that will hook you and take a great deal from you when the hook is ultimately withdrawn. They find that platform where you have your deepest hurts and strongest opinions and they become your ally, your cheerleader, your confidant, your defender, etc., etc. And "poof" you're sucked in hook, line and sinker.

Oftentimes, the very people who have wounded you the worst, are the very same kind of people that can empathize with you the best. And why wouldn't they? A predator knows his victims very well. They study them. They have to, in order to trap them. That's why I write things like this. We need to "study them" as well. It's called - playing "offense" instead of "defense". Learning to be savvy - will work on our part. Rest very assured - they will do "their homework" regarding "you". Be willing to be as quick to forgive yourself when it comes to making a mistake of character as you are quick to forgive them over and over and over again.

Charmer/Abuser's do NOT respect you as as a person at all... BUT... they will go to great lengths to convince you that they do.
They will quickly put you up on a high pedestal, where they supposedly worship at your feet. No one in the world is more beautiful or more important in their lives. You are the bomb! Just remember here that I use the word "quickly" a lot. Someone genuinely thinking you're wonderful and all that isn't necessarily bad. But, it is highly suspicious when it happens very, very quickly. Sure, in some rare case, you could just click if you meet the right person. But, I warn you about making this your basis for all your relationships. You are a sitting duck.

Genuine feelings that really matter in the long run take time and THEY don't have time. They have to do everything quickly. They want what they want and they want it NOW. So, hurry up and "get charmed", so this ball game can get underway! That's the way they want it!

They are counting on your need to get instantly stroked all the way around as their "in". This is your blind side and they go right for it. "Make her feel like a princess early on and she will eat out of your hand." They will educate you on how women in their past have not met the mark with them. How they have failed them in some respect. It's called - giving you a challenge you cannot resist as a woman. Especially, if you are a woman who sees her worth being linked to how much she is needed by a man.

They are basically saying to you "here, see what you can do. Prove to me, that you are worthy and prove to me that you can be better than all these other women. Do the impossible! I'm waiting..." And that's just what an abuse victim loves to hear... and
Charmer/Abusers know this. Abused women - are very used to being superhuman and performing the impossible and having to work for every sliver of love and attention they get. So, this challenge is more like alcohol being sat in front of an alcoholic.
Charmer/Abusers hit you hard and heavy. They call you a lot, they want to be with you a lot. They will not respect your need for personal space, but will disguise with - just have to be with you because I can't get you out of my mind. They will usually talk to a lot about how wonderful they are, especially in the areas of "what you need them to be". It will be tailor made, just for you. They will dazzle you with their dance and try to effectively shut down all your protective barriers. They will also want to pull you away from your friends, family and children. They need to be tuned into just them, if they are going to effectively charm you in a small amount of time.

Like any teacher in any classroom they have to have your undivided attention in order to "teach you" what they want you to learn. So, they don't want you comparing notes with anyone else or getting someone else's read on them. Someone who isn't blind to them will see them for what they are and tell you. They want to get you in that "cloudy zone" as soon as possible where you are wrapped up with them physically and are providing them with what they need so you feel very validated and valued.

They know that once you get effectively hooked in this regard you will vehemently fight off anyone, including your own flesh and blood in order to keep this realm of "importance" that you've got going on here. They count on you to do just that. They load the gun for you and "you" pick it up and use it. That way their hands are clean. You did their dirty work for them. You end up driving away the very people that could help you the most said all that to say this...

Time is your friend, use it wisely. If there is one thing that is going to serve you well in the arena of protection it is to hesitate, step back, go more slowly than you usually do. Read this often and "think" about what is going on - while it is going on.

If you see at anytime this is happening - you do not owe anyone a thick book on how or why you came to your conclusion to back off and cut it off.
Charmer/Abusers are absolutely great at convincing you that you owe them "a good reason. And they choose if the 'reason' is good enough. As if, they are some powerfully important figure in your life. If they are doing this to you, they are obviously NOT important to you and should not be have that title as you are leaving the relationship.

I don't know how many times I see this and it is the killer snag that eventually pulls them back into the web. And I've seen women who are almost all the way out and have put many steps into walking away. But, the quick snap of this rubber band is profound. We say we are walking away, but they interpret this to mean we want to be talked back into it.
Charmer/Abusers are spoiled brats. They respect nothing and no one.

They count on you not being able to forgive yourself - for making a completely wrong assessment of who they were or who you thought they were. That is one of their best and most dangerous weapons against you. If you are so proud that you cannot be humble enough to say - I made a mistake and walk away from it - they will have you for dinner a second time around, and a third and a fourth time....until....."they don't need you".... anymore.

It's high time you learn how to live offensively and be in control of your own life. It's called Learning to live Pro-active for your own well-being. A predator is completely turned off by anyone that lets time be their friend. So, if you want to know who a person is that you may be suspect of just hold them at arm's length for awhile. Make them wait for everything.

The person who is genuinely interested in you won't push. And they won't try and dazzle you in any way. They will... wait. If they don't do this and you jump... you are in for a ride. Just know it up front and put on your seat belt.

Just always look at what you are doing and if you find it really hard to stop engaging long enough to be rational just remember that if this person has become a larger than life dominant factor in your life... they are not this godlike image of what your father or ex was or should have been. They are what they are and you have a good enough mind to call it what it is. A lie.

Please give yourself permission to see it just like it is with your adult mind, not your little girl mind. Super heroes are fairy tales. Real villians can do much damage while wearing superman's cape. In fact they can get away with anything and everything. Do not give them that power. Take your power back.

What is real and true and good for you will come by way of... you believing you have the right to choose and not be chosen.


Why? Because we still talk to them. We get caught up in telling them why and why not and how and when, etc., etc. They put US on trial for what they did! We feel like we owe them all this. Whether we like it or not, we are giving great power to someone who does not consider our best interests at all.
A person who respects you might ask for clarification to a degree, just so they understand you and then that's it. They have enough self-respect for themselves and for you to listen to what you said and think you meant it.

By your continuing need to engage with them tells them you don't mean a word you say when it comes to boundaries. It means nothing to them now. You may have barked at them, but that's about it. You're back in the ring trying to validate your assessment of things with the very person that did it to you in the first place.

So, you are putty in their hands simply because you walked back out onto the dance floor. Whatever respect you imagined them to have for you is now completely and absolutely gone. You are definitely "prey" to them now. And they toy with you at will, because you have given them that power over you.

They are putting a lot of trust in the fact that you do not trust your own judgement. If you need to constantly talk to them about why you thought this or that or got hurt about whatever they instantly know that you don't trust yourself. A confident woman would just call it and that would be the end of it. Some discussion would be allowed, but she would trust her own mind and her own feelings and would not feel compelled to get it validated from the direction those hurts came from in the first place.

That you would want validation from the very person that hurt you, that affirms you made a sound judgement? Hmmm... so, are we going to get that validation from this person? I would venture to say the odds of that happening are greatly stacked against you.

But, this goes back to why you look like such easy prey to them. So, if he has assumed the position and you have put a lot of trust in him early on - you are going to treat him like a father would be treated.

You will give him this respect and position of power and authority over you - because that is what your little girl that you used to be would do regarding the man in her life back then. And since you put this man in that super powerful position the hardest person in the world to convince that a mistake has been made is you, the victim. After all, they have "first chair" with us. We have to work it out, make it fit, or change it somehow.

What I want to know is how can someone who has known you for such a short time have enough clout and importance in your life to be allowed the right to speak louder and with more authority over the person who knows you best? And that person is you!

Charmer/Abusers will storm your gates in the beginning and in the end. They will initially storm your gates with quick flattery, comradery, and what looks like empathy. In the end they will storm your gates with insults, total disrespect and will look like someone you do not know at all. Because actually you don't. You only knew the facade, the lure.

They will hit your gates hard and heavy with whatever works - when you decide to walk away. If trying to get you to give them a computer printout on how you arrived at your conclusion and talking it to death doesn't work then they will storm your gates and bust every boundary as quickly as you can erect it

However, if they are not getting what they want they will hit you hard, but not forever. There are more fish in the sea. So, do not move your boundaries one inch. Say what you mean and mean what you say - consistently and absolutely and you don't owe anyone an explanation as to why.

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shared by Barbara at 12:38 AM


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38 Comments:

Thankyou Barbara for your blog.
I have been in a relationship with a charmer/abuser for 3 years.
I have lost count of the times we have broken up and come back together again. I am at the point where I feel as though I am going crazy. What you have described is what I feel I am living right now. What struck a chord with me is when you said 'they put us on trial for what they did'. I am going to remember this as I struggle through the next few months of trying to leave this person.
Thank-you.
Ingrid

12:16 AM  

Thank you for this article! This is exactly who I am with, a charmer/abuser. I have been in this relationship for going on 5 yrs. We fall out for periods of time anywhere from 1 day or two to 3 wks, and just as I'm almost over him, he pops back up and I allow him back in. The last time, I even instigated to reunion. As with Barbara, I, too, plan to remember this as I attempt to end this once & for all.

1:54 PM  

You have described absolutely brilliantly and ver very sharp. I fully agree with you. And I like the idea that we need to educate ourselves on them aswell, indeed offense is the best defense. Good that you've set up a blog like this.

3:50 PM  

My sister is in one of these relationships and keeps going back. Just hoping I can get her to read this and see it

11:14 PM  

I loved that line aswell, 'they put us on trial for what they have done'. I am in the process of divorcing my abusive/charmer who I have been married to for a little over 4 years. The only thing I could ever say or want to say to anyone who is thinking of leaving or is leaving the relationship it would be NEVER GO BACK, NO MATTER WHAT! I've had to learn that the hard way....... And no matter how much you doubt yourself, always trust what you feel, we were given instincts for a reason and that is to protect us from people like that!

11:08 PM  

I am the writer of the charmer/abuser article that Barbara posted. I am Ladeska and so glad that you find this article helpful. I just wanted to give people a tool that might help them understand what they are really up against.

11:43 AM  

A vivid article unfortunately Domestic Abuse can occur in relationships between people of every class and culture. Domestic abuse does not have to involve physical violence; it is any form of behavior that causes the victim to feel intimidated and bullied.

Sometimes the abuse is so bad that the victim has to flee the home or is compelled to take steps to protect themselves or their children from further abuse. Sadly some victims are so ground down that they find it hard to stand up for themselves or even articulate their plight.

7:57 AM  

I was prompted to do research on what abusers seek out when looking for supply because after some five years of severing ties with my NPD dad,
he sent me the second email this year...in which i didnt respond. Its true what you say when you mentioned trying to explain to the person who is dangerous your position is really senseless... Ive spent most of my young adult years thinking that if i could just explain it just so, he would come to his senses. I liked how you mentioned we need to stick to our guns... that son of a biotch knows damn well why we dont have a relationship, its his fault but he is refusing to respect my wishes, I am grateful for the strengh to stand by my truth.

1:40 AM  

I wish I had seen this article sooner. Thank you so much for writing it. I found this site while googling for answers and comfort... Earlier this year I had a person in my life who fits into everything described here.

I was at the time at an emotional low in my life, struggling with anxiety, my family, education... I felt lost. And there he was, the only person I openly spoke to about my issues, feeling so enlightened by him and how he would always be there for me.

All of it was fake, just a lie. When it all came crashing down, after those close to me realized what was happening to me, I was lost, as if cut in half, and I missed him, even though I knew he abused me emotionally.

When I think of it now, I see what danger I put myself into and I dodged a bullet there. So glad it's over.

My heart goes out to all those struggling in the same way I was, you are not alone!

3:45 PM  

How did I get here, I ask myself..

That was extremely well written. Perhaps you could come up with one for the few grounded, secure, successful, and chivalrous men here in south FL, who fall victim to the "charm" of a wolf in wives clothing...You know,
The ones that seek you out for your accomplishments, acclaim, and stability... luring you with the eyes and beauty of a temptress. Playing to your need for physical intamicy, until her free meal ticket is gauranteed, until the citizenship approved... Then on to the next....
You dont sound like a feminist Barb, so help the good guys out...

4:27 PM  

How did I get here, I ask myself..

That was extremely well written. Perhaps you could come up with one for the few grounded, secure, successful, and chivalrous men here in south FL, who fall victim to the "charm" of a wolf in wives clothing...You know,
The ones that seek you out for your accomplishments, acclaim, and stability... luring you with the eyes and beauty of a temptress. Playing to your need for physical intamicy, until her free meal ticket is gauranteed, until the citizenship approved... Then on to the next....
You dont sound like a feminist Barb, so help the good guys out...

4:27 PM  

People who really know me don't assume "friendliness" by calling me BARB...

11:34 PM  

Boy do I wish I read this 6 years ago when I started to have those gut feelings about my husband and listened to the people around me when they said to ignore those feelings...that he was so wonderful to me....and I should marry him.
Lesson learned: listen to your gut. Don't question it...run when it tells you something isn't right...God gave you that gut feeling for a reason.
Never again....

5:43 AM  

How much truth do we REALLY want? I often wonder about this. See, when I learn some new horrific truth I want to immediately share it with others so as to prevent them from unknowingly stepping into the same situation or if they perhaps have a friend or relative who they can prevent from doing this. Or, maybe they have gone through something and are afraid or ashamed to reveal this, to let them know that they are not alone and that someone else understands.

But I NEVER meet this type of person in "real life." Only on-line do I meet people like me. Why is that?

In my textbook for a health class I'm taking there's a chapter on rape awareness, rape statistics, protection etc and I was talking to a woman who has daughters. She asked what I was studying and I showed it to her, pointed out some of the new things I'd learned about rape because of this book and do you know what she said? She asked me if it was appropriate to teach my college age daughter about these things! I WAS FLOORED! This was a COLLEGE BOOK aimed at COLLEGE AGED CHILDREN so that they would know the TRUTH! But this is so very typical I'm finding. That so many people live in their own sheltered world and if anything outside of their relm of understanding seeps in, they immediately attack you (the person who allowed the truth in).

Reading about these "charmers" I'm thinking, is it any wonder we allow them in? We don't even KNOW about them in most cases.

Education, prevention, on and on but WHO are we reaching? If I could I would forewarn EVERYBODY about the evils of psychopathy. I would protect those that don't have first-hand knowledge by at least arming them with information. But it does seem that NOBODY wants the heads-up and will only look at the possibility of psychopathy AFTER they've been utterly destroyed. This too is hard for me to comprehend because when someone shares something with me, even though I may not have gone through the same thing I can understand that they did and that it really effected them. (I am not a psychopath so I can actually put myself in their position.) But if there are so many of us (people who CAN feel empathy), why do I never meet any of them? (I'm really not expecting an answer, just want you to think about this.)

And I'm not accusing you either. I would just REALLY love to help others and prevent them from this type of abuse but I truly have no idea how to do this.

6:09 PM  

I hate to say this... but people "fall prey" to a charmer because it's affirmation of what people WANT to hear.

While I'd suggest that someone that truly listens, may care a lot quickly or wants someone to feel wonderful "MAY" be indicative of someone will ulterior motives... it is not close to mutually exclusive.

There are good people. There are bad people. There are good people that go "bad" for us individually but otherwise are still good people.

Suffice to say, the "problem" with relationships (good or bad) is that we are either holding on too long or not holding on long enough and people don't have the tools to decide which is best for them.

People are typically on their best behaviors initially. They make it "all" about you. And the egoist in all of us likes that. If it isn't like that then we wonder whats wrong with us that they "just aren't all that into us".

As a single dad I enter every new situation with a motive of seeking companionship, but also that the person be comfortable with my little one as part of the equation. The things I look for as a man for companionship aren't always compatible with the things I'm looking for in the other person for my daughter ultimately.

There are more dynamics at play than simply finding a "soul mate". And while a woman may treat me and my child wonderfully initially... after time it can start to breed resentment towards my daughter (on her part) and that becomes a deal breaker.

People have this idea that they HAVE to have someone (we all want to be loved after all) and I don't think "moving quickly" is mutually exclusive to either "good" nor "bad"... what happens is that some people are willing to give more than their fair share... and others that take more than their fair share.

When you get a balance that skews too heavily one way... it often becomes the situation described above.

I'm rambling a bit... but I guess I'm a little concerned that we are suggesting that someone that is willing to give "too quickly" means the person likely has ulterior motives is circumspect and punishing/being skeptical to those that enter a situation (quickly or not) with a full head of steam. Time will ultimately tell.

2:59 PM  

Thank you for posting this Barbara and thank you Ladeska for writing it! Yes, I'm with everyone else regarding 'being put on trial.' My N is studying law and I used those words so many time with him. I finally learned what NOT to say in order to not be put on the stand. Anyway, I dropped him like a sack of potatoes a few weeks ago, without notice and without so much as a goodbye. This time I even had solid evidence as to why I wanted to end the relationship; but based on past experience, he would put me through hell - so I avoided it by not answering his calls/messages. He only called me three times and messaged me a couple times. He hasn't hit my gates hard so either he's done with me or he thinks I'm playing a game of hard to get. I kind of am but it's strategic. If there is a game or challenge, he plays and he plays to win. I'm rooting for him, silently cheering him on. Yes, right back at him of who can play NC better. Anyway, he's moving out of state in a month for school and I'm hoping that he maintains NC at least until then (but forever would be better). I played the fool, and all along my gut was screaming to give him the boot. Lesson learned (I hope)!
-Hope2Learn

5:45 PM  

Thank you so much for hitting the nail on the head! I wish someone had sat me down about 12 years ago and opened my eyes regarding these type of people. Rather than returning to those painful memories and emotional roller coasters from hell, I count my blessings that I have learned how to be treated, discovered healthy love, and turned my pain into creating an national chain for women, SHE CAN SHOOT, LLC that deals with these experiences.

Sick "love" like this can literally choke the life out of you. Run!

Tina Wilson-Cohen
SHE CAN SHOOT, LLC

9:33 PM  

I am so proud of myself!! I spotted a narcissist and I did it, I dumped him, fast and hard. I know he will never get it and no matter if I explained why a million times, it would no good. The first flag? A gnawing gut feeling that would not go away. I asked myself many times if this was my imagination or was I really seeing these signs. Really?, a wife at home that was just a roommate until the divorce went through? I could sort of understand that but why not let me talk to her then? Oh because she is a mean drunk bi%ch that was capable of anything, she might kill him because she wanted him dead. ( he found a search engine on getting rid of your husband). She's mean, she calls me names, she stays drunk all the time, even when the kids have friends over. Oh my Gawd, I thought, this poor man. The stories went on and on. Then I realized his behavior was so off- putting his friends down, telling constantly of all his achievements, constantly kissing me and turning my head with his hand to force me to kiss him, being pushy about having sex, talking about his past "girlfriends" as objects it seemed and of course telling me I hurt him and made him feel like I was picking on him and I reminded him of his wife and he was worried about that because he just couldn't go through being treated bad ever again. Oh Please! Grow some effing balls! Even thinking about his comments makes my blood pressure rise! Luckily I have a strong direct friend. She said its not your imagination, these are huge flags, u don't need to be treated like this. Period. Did I mention that he was a complete and total charmer also? I so easily could have fallen into it if I had jumped right in. Women please go slow. The bad ones hate this and you will feel the pressure. They need to conquer right away! They will charm you heavily, fall in love like they never have before and promise undying faithfulness. Too good to be true? Yes it is. I'm so grateful of the lessons I've learned in life. There is a reason I have been through what I have. I'm a lucky girl to never have to be abused again in life. I wish I could help others, it's truly a gift I have. Here's to others being free of abuse and following you gut feeling!

9:49 AM  

This was so well written and so accurate. Thank you! I was in an abusive relationship (mentally, emotionally, psychologically, physically) relatively recently which ended with a violent episode. I am so grateful I had people in my life that pushed me to go report the incident and pursue a restraining order. I wish I had seen all of these warning signs much sooner and trusted my gut feeling I would get often telling me to GET OUT while I can. And I did. He was such a smooth talker, made me believe I was everything to him...until he got angry over a trivial thing or got jealous for completely unfounded reasons such as if I had to stay late at work for an extra five minutes. I wanted to take it slow at first, but he seemed like this person I had been waiting for all my life! It was all a lie. He really just wanted someone to control, manipulate, and to feel sorry for him for how people have treated him so badly in life. Of course, it was always "my fault" when he would get aggressive or mean. He got a new girlfriend within less than two months after our final incident and the restraining order. I hope she ends up seeing the red flags sooner rather than later. They always need someone to control. I can only imagine how he minimizes what he did to me and tells her how I "wronged him" by protecting myself and family, as he did that with me in regards to his past relationships. Charmers/abusers really are just a facade. It hurts and angers me that I allowed that in my life, but I am glad that I learned from it. Never again!

3:15 PM  

I stumbled across this site following a conversation with my therapist. My partner destroyed me mentally to the point of losing every bit of myself.
I had no idea that this was what he was doing to me. I'm still very raw and question whether this man I placed complete trust and my heart in would do this to me. If he has then what is it about me that warranted such cruelty? I question my own worth as person because of it .. But I'm assuming this is still the power he has over me. Reading this article repeatedly will hopefully affirm that it's not my fault and will finally move on from such a monster who has left me a shell of a person

8:21 AM  

This relates to me to the T. I met a guy, who meets the criteria of a Charmer/Abuser. Little did I know that he would treat me this way. He's ripped me off grands of my money. I've had to flee my own home because of the risks he presents to me.

He told me so much lies and if if weren't for the police, I might be in my grave by now. I was so shocked when I went to the police the crimes he has committed. He's told me a false name, which I found out later on in the relationship. He's brought thieves to my home on 2 occasions.

I am extremely upset that I've had to uproot my home and move across the country. I wish I never met the man.

12:12 PM  

I've had too much of this in my life. I totally lost me in the process and now getting help for depression. I've been made to appear the nut case and had many stressors leaving me wondering what it was I lived with. Stalking, cyber stalking total invasion of privacy, spreading lies and creating issues between friends and family. just so wrong to do this. Lies so many of them. Now away from it all and no contact is allowing me to get back to working on finding me and finding a real quality of life away from just too weird bizarre and destructive behaviour. No contact is important to getting freedom back and to live.life

4:01 AM  

It all seems so clear... over a decade later.

But the consequences are dire now, I have to protect my children.

It's so infuriating how the children to whom he was so cold and cruel are suddenly his reason for breathing. And because we were all so good at hiding what was going on behind closed doors, now I look like the incomprehensible hysterical woman who has ripped his life away and filed and restraining order for no reason.

I'm confident we will get the permanent restraining order, but what then?

Are you sure there are more fish in the sea?

He's already found our new address.

2:50 AM  

Hi this article answers all the questions how wouldn't . I can now see exactly who he is. I was his princess he.'d never met a woman like me before if only he'd met me years earlier he wouldn't have married the terrible women he did. Rubbish all of it - as soon as I moved in with him it all changed. He virtually ignored me wasn't interested in physical contact, turned his back on me in bed and chose to spend his weekends with his friends saying I was trying to control him when I suggested spending time together. I stayed 3 months and left when he thought I shouldn't be upset that his grown up daughters trashed our home when we were away - they didn't live there and I didn't know they had keys. Since leaving I have doubted everything about myself believing I must have done something wrong to warrant the change or just not attractive enough - he had absolutely no respect for me, my values or my feelings - it was all a facade. Reading this has turned me around thank you

2:11 PM  

Thank you so much for your words. I have been looking for answers and I have found them here in your excellent explanation :)

9:19 PM  

Outstanding article... 2 year's of therapy did not illustrate it as accurately as this article.

This should be taught in schools, in particular to teenage girls. The warning signs of 'grooming' by sexual predators and the pattern of 'idolizing/devaluing' by psychological/emotional predators like narcissists, should all be part of the curriculum.

If I had this knowledge back in 2006, I could have saved myself years of utter misery.

Thank you again for this article... a million times, thank you.

You will save lives.

6:14 PM  

I needed this 20 years ago, it would have saved me and my daughter from the anger and mis trust we have now in others.
Everything in here describes my ex husband to a "T", I was too dumb and naïve to realize that I was being abused until it got to the point that he was slipping up more frequently the last 2 years of our 15 year marriage.
My daughter is his step daughter and I met him when she was 3 years old, and I wish I would have recognized the signs then especially when she would tell me things and I thought she was fibbing. I carry that guilt around more about her than myself because I should have protected her and she now deals with low self esteem.
This should be taught in schools for teens, it is a horrible thing to go through especially with severe depression and the scars it leaves for life.

2:29 PM  

SIgns, thank you for posting this article. You have given me much to think about and I admit... I fear I may have shades of what your talking about based on my conversations with some online, particularly some roleplays I am a aprt of. I take on the very characterizations you have spoken of so as to play my part and take enjoyment from such a role. I have enjoyed it because such a roleplay as a charmer like this comes natural though in the back of my mind I have questioned why and if I allow myself to go too far.

I have never had a face to face relationship, I don't have the confidence for such, online though I can create any face I want and become what a girl wants. I hadn't until now realize how dangerous playing such a roleplay is, to listen to a girl and unconditionally become the sort of guy they want. I honestly consider myself to be a nice and friendly person, and a hatred for abusers and those that misuse a woman... but your article shows I may, at least, play the part of an abuser without realizing it. Because of your article... I'm not sure I want ro be a charmer anymore, no matter how fun I found the role, as it will just get me to feel guilty and uncertain of how it will effects those I interact with.

Thank you for opening my eyes to the danger I was putting others and myself in by taking the role of a charmer. I will need to figure out what I need to change so I don't become an abuser and harm others.

2:17 PM  

I have been a charmer abuser and I have been talking counseling for years now to correct my life. .its very important to came clean in public about it so other men realize the pain and suffering we have caused to women. .i came from a culture where being a charming abuser is like a lifestyle you learn in every aspect of society. .i am from Cuba and have been trying to make changes in my life after researching on all these topics. .a few years ago a Canadian lady who went to my country to marry a charming abuser asked me to give her my opinion about this man and she sent me some photos of him over the Internet. .right away I knew she was about to became a victim so I warned her in my own ways. .she went to Cuba and married him anyway and brought him to Canada. .they are now divorced and have a child. .i am in this blog because I believe that the mother of my children is becaming a victim of another Cuban man who is a charming abuser..no one else better than me can identify a charming abuser. .i was that and it is not a simple thing to do to change your life when you realize how much pain you have caused. .i am not only embarrassed but I'm also in a big pain since I have lots my kids and a wanderful woman ..i apologize to everyone in this blog for showing up and presenting myself as a person who has done this things. .i have been working so hard to find out more about it and that is the reason I am here. .i take counseling and try to do better every day ..its not something that we are born with so I believe that if more men came clean and ready to meet with victims we can at least help women to avoid the pain and suffering from this behavior

1:52 AM  

I lived it for 5 yrs. I just got out of court n was denied a protection from abuse n a no contact order bc he had private attorney n i couldnt afford one. He even admitted to restraining me but bc no black n blues this time its not abuse but God will keep me safe. Atleast he is out of my house.

7:36 AM  

This was really intresting. The last guy/abuser I met, did almost everything you wrote about. He was a real charmer. I thought he was my soul mate. He told me that he thought I was "sooooo beautiful," that he would never do..... etc. He turned out to be a liar and I got to see him for who he truly is. It is so scary to know that he never cared about me...at all!!! I believe that if I was dying and needed him to call for help -- I don't think he would do it. He used me and then disgarded me like garbage. I think I let a little Ted Bundy into my life. Anyway, good read. Thanks!

8:14 AM  

I am a current VICTIM of a charmer abuser. SHE has been gaslighting me for over a year. I had been celibate for three years. I was discerning a religious vocation. She convinced me that MARRIAGE to her was a vocation if we had children and raised them to be priests or nuns. Eventually we married in a secret ceremony. When I didn't behave the way she wanted she Cut me off emotionally. But sexually she pretended that I was the aggressive one. She eventually found as new target while I was traveling for work. She then denied the VOWS AND CEREMONY ever happened. It sent me into an emotional spiral. She convinced so many people in the community that I WAS THE STALKER. When I returned to defend "her virtue" You see she portrayed her NEW TARGET as the aggressor. He denies ever asking to marry her, but is supposedly NOW pursuing her. I am left appearing deranged even though I am 500 miles awaY.

3:35 AM  

It feels like i just woke up from a dream of someone elses life after 12 years. I used to write his words down... i knew they were bad but his words became my words. it started with our first Christmas together. i was wrapping presents and doing a terrible job. he started laughing, said i didnt do anything right. i didnt cook right, didnt dress right, didnt wear make up. after that i became the bad welfare mother he would never take parenting advice from. The night he said that, i cried all night and he sat there and watched. The next morning i was exhausted, red eyed and swollen, i took the kids to school and came back and cried some more asking him why he thought so badly of me why he was with me. He told me he never said it. it didnt make sense to me, nothing made sense. i started seeing everything through his eyes. he attacked everyone i got close to and i started seeing them as a threat too. He told me, look at the way people are looking at you and I did. They were looking at me the way he was looking at me. I was sure of it. I stopped talking to people, i stopped talking to them mostly because I couldnt explain in my words what he was doing because i had his words in my head. Every time I left him, i was drowning in the misery of his lies. it is only now that I remember the fear he put in me, how when I started talking to a friend I had isolated myself from, my heart beat out my chest when he found out and I never understood why. At one point i even called a friend to tell him not to post on my status because it would make him mad. I remember now, all of the words other people have said to me, you put up such a fascade... how do you do it? You're in pain and you dont even act like it. You should be screaming at him, it's your life... why aren't you angry? I wasnt angry... i was confused. I was numb with grief. I was silently drowning. I could never understand how my friends could hold me while I cried but he couldn't. That's not true, he held me while I cried about the people i felt completely isolated from, asking me ,"Do you want me to beat them up for hurting you?" I literally had flashbacks about the things people would say, "What's the matter with you?" I told you that you were bad?" All of which confirmed everything he said about me, that there was something wrong with me. I remember all of it, all of the nasty things he ever said to me, did to me and I wonder how long it will stay with me? I also wonder after I leave him when the numbness will come and then the pain, the drowning...I remember I used to watch and wait for his lips to thin out, tried to prevent it with everything i had inside of me because I knew what it meant. It meant that those bad words were coming but would it mean that this time he would ridicule me like a child, point his finger in my face like last time, what name would he call me this time. The worst part is that my daughter will grow up and find a man just like him and he's gonna make her cry and he's gonna steal her joy and her hope and she's gonna wonder why she wants to die.
i just wish he would have just hit me, atleast then I could have found the right words to explain what was happening to me. I tried to tell people but I didnt know
how... i couldnt explain it... all i ever said was he was mean or he doesnt contribute... he's bad with money...or he mistreats me financially because I was trying to make sense of it by looking at his actions but i never thought about the words. I remember when i would pray out in pain, I knew in my heart God was trying to tell me something. All I heard was, finish your book, finish it... what you are looking for are in the words.
I remember when i first move to Texas, God was stronger. i would look at signs find words, put them in my book. And I heard God again. The words are every where.. now that i know and have found the right words... i want to shout it from the roof tops... I'm not crazy.

2:09 AM  

I don't know how I'm going to get away from him, my love doesn't go and it's been 13 years still keep convincing myself on and off we good never change, stuck in a situation that doesn't help he doesn't work he cheats he self harms he feels sorry for himself only I feel I'm mental nothing ever changes except I'm growing older and wasting more years:(

1:18 PM  

PART I: THE PRIEST ON THE PROWL

In all walks of life, these types of men exist. I believe they do their most harm from their positions of trusted clergy. In my case, a Roman Catholic priest. As pastor (shepherd) in our small suburban parish in a large metropolitan area, he was in a perfect position to cut out the most vulnerable women from the herd; women who came to him seeking help with their troubled marriages. It became obvious that only the good looking, well-educated, interesting women were advised to continue to seek his help, the others were told unceremoniously, to go back to their husbands and "make the marriage work."

Finally, he was named as a co-respondent in a divorce case involving a woman from his previous parish with whom he was having an inappropriate relationship; she frequently came in to town with luggage in hand and stayed for days overnight at the rectory in our parish. While she was present, the pastor was unavailable to others and spent all of his time behind locked doors in his private and very lavish quarters.

But, let's get back to that divorce case. Although, in front of the rectory staff, he nearly fell over himself every time she phoned (only land lines at that time; not the privacy and exclusivity of cell phones)and he furtively phoned her from a phone in one of the parish meeting rooms in the rectory basement every chance he got, he testified in court that she was the one who relentlessly pursued him . . . in other words, he the helpless, inexperienced priest was "Adam" to her "Eve" . . . "Samson" to her "Delilah" . . . siren temptress extraordinaire ensnaring the innocent man, helpless in the face of her feminine whiles or as he had the gall to tell me later, “my dad told me to stay away from women; that they are nothing but trouble.” PART II, TO FOLLOW

8:26 PM  

PART II: THE PRIEST ON THE PROWL
I know all of this, because I was one of the rectory staff. I also was a parishioner who went to him seeking moral and spiritual guidance in a troubled marriage. I was his next (attempted) conquest after my divorce and after his relationship necessarily ended when he testified against her in divorce court and he boasted to me, how he had gotten out of that "jam" as he called it; a "jam" for him; a broken marriage for her and broken family life for her three teenage sons. No sweat; all part of being a good-looking, lonely, priest who knows how to groom women to suit his needs.

He tried to be and usually was (well, sometimes when it suited him) everything I needed as I went through a terrible two years as my twenty-three year marriage to my (unacknowledged) alcoholic husband came to an end. Fr. D and I remained friends as he attempted to get closer by telling me I was his confidante, his special and dear friend . . . his best friend.

With a shattered self-esteem after my abusive marriage, I was only too willing to be flattered by and accepting of his purposeful words and moves. But . . . a player is a player is a player (and he was the ultimate player). . . and the fact that he enjoyed good-looking AND intelligent women got in the way of a potential relationship with me . . . I was just as smart . . . well, actually, smarter . . . than he .. . and his silly, post-pubescent behavior was wearing on me in a hurry.

While I would have loved to have a true and loving friendship with an available and honest man . . . let's face it . . . that "ain't" going to happen with a Catholic Priest.

We're still friends of a sort. Although, the fact that I see through him and he senses that I do results in many lost opportunities for him; a fact which often makes me intolerable to be around . . . and so, he rarely is around.

There are good men out there; just not that many. So, I have come to enjoy and appreciate my own company and the platonic friendship with a few male friends (yes, still the priest and the husbands of my women friends). . . and view this point in my life as gift . . . gift of self-knowledge, self-worth, and good self-esteem . . . and especially the gift of self-awareness (and experience) that allows me to see a lot sooner than I ever did before . . . that grinning, salivating wolf under the sheep's softly sweet (but too-compliant, at least at first) demeanor and behavior that had fooled me for so much of my life . . . yes, even with my first (my only) husband.

It's odd . . . I used to be the type of woman who drew like a magnet, the wolf in sheep's clothing . . . now these guys won't even give me the time of day . . . as if I would get close enough to ask! They do have a sixth sense for, and attraction to, the weak, the vulnerable, the emotionally needy woman . . . regarding the opposite, they run like hell to get away . . . for we know . . . we have come to learn . . . too much about them.

Now, we just have to, as best we can, try to educate those other women . . . their future prey. This site is a good place to begin.

8:29 PM  

Going through this now

1:43 AM  

Thank u so much for helping me realize what this was and what I was going thru! I made the mistake of getting intimately involved with a neighbor/charmer after several years of friendship and just hanging out. He saw my vulnerablity and preyed on that as a charmer. In february last year we crossed the line and became lovers. Then when I told him a few months later I had breast cancer he dropped me like a rock and went after another woman in the building. She's gone moved away. But even tho I have had a mastectomy now he wants back in my bed! No way man! He wants what he cant have yet again like when I made it clear in the beginning when we met just friends. No man will ever hurt me like that again. He texts me late at nite and says awful things and the worst part is I respond in kind. No more! He is a predator and I am done!

3:08 AM  

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