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What first comes to mind when someone asks you what you fear most? Sickness or death are probably most common. My answer may surprise you. What sends shivers down my spine is the thought of falling into the web of another psychopath.

I was with Alan for three years, and for the most part we were a normal couple, living a normal life. It was only when we moved to another city that his psychopathic behaviour began to emerge. Basically, without the humdrum routine we had left behind in Calgary he was no longer able to disguise the darkness that was deep within him, and cracks in his perfect façade began to appear.

Still, I was pretty sure I wasn’t living with a monster. The truth is, I couldn’t have been more wrong, and as a result, I have paid a heavy price both emotionally and financially.

Prior to meeting Alan I had a decent life filled with great friends, a good job, the ability to travel; I was generally happy. Alan and I were introduced at work. Although he was new to our office (he worked up north for the most part), people seemed to like him, so I accepted him as a friend immediately. After several weeks he began to open up to me about his wife. How she was not allowing him into their home and rather forcing him to sleep in his car while parked in the driveway. Shocked by his revelation, I immediately came to his defense, advising him that he did not have to live in such a manner and that he should get out of the situation (which he had claimed to be living in for years). It was at that moment, when I had let my guard down, that everything changed … Alan had found his next victim.

Days later he advised me that he and his wife had separated and soon after we began in a long-distance relationship which enabled us to take things slow and get to know one another, or so I thought. What I did not see at the time was that he was getting to know me, and not the other way around.

Months later, I was convinced I had met my soulmate. We did everything together. Everything I liked, he liked; music, activities, food. As I said, he was listening carefully and adapting his personality to fit mine; a common trait in a psychopath as stated in this article. However, in this article (and the many others I have read) there does not seem to be enough emphasis on the psychopath’s need for sympathy and for me, as a women this is the most terrifying aspect of their predatory nature.

Alan lived for sympathy, and sympathy was a way for him to always be the center of attention. For example, when his divorce proceedings began, he portrayed himself as an abuse victim and his soon to be ex-wife as a villainous monster. He was so convincing that for a time, I believed she was going to murder us. I could not have been more wrong. It is only recently that I’ve learned the truth, that like me, she was in fact the victim. Desperate to speak to her, my friends in Canada have tried to locate her, with no success. We believe now that she is in hiding and in fear for her life as I was for a time. With that said, be wary of the ‘my ex-wife is a monster’ story unless you have proof.

Further to this, when a psychopath uses sympathy as his main weapon, and you finally wake up and realize you are living with a monster, you then become the monster to all others in your life. The day I left Alan, I was immediately seen as his first ex-wife, a villainous monster. People who I had gotten close to in our new neighborhood immediately judged me without question even though they had known me for over a year. He had single-handedly destroyed my reputation, and I was shunned no matter what I said or did. In their eyes, I had hurt ‘Poor Alan’ with no cause, and naturally came to his defence as I had once done, which in turn enabled Alan to embrace the ‘would be victim’ scenario to gain his revenge, and from there the real nightmare began.

Once Alan had succeeded in destroying me publicly, the darkest parts of his psychopathic behavior emerged. For nearly two years he stalked me (and my family), threatened my life, stole money from me, and destroyed many of my irreplaceable belongings. For a time I tried to reclaim what was mine, but have since come to realize (with the support of local authorities both here and in Canada) that putting my life at further risk for a few sentimental belongings and money was simply not worth it. I see now, in the end there was no winning. After all, how do you win a moral battle when you’re at war with someone who has no conscious?  

With that said, I can finally close the book on this psychopath and move on, thankful that I survived this experience with support from my true friends and family.

If you can relate to my story in any way, listen to that voice inside. If a person is too good to be true it usually means they are. Remember psychopaths are adaptable. They feel nothing so forget reasoning. Once you are stuck in their web, know that he or she will stop at nothing to destroy you once the darkness within them has been revealed. If you are already trapped in their web, walk away as I have done. In time you will begin a new life, and with your new found wisdom, have the ability to better sense the signs of unhealthy relationships and surround yourself with people who you feel safe with, real friends who will support you as you begin to rebuild your life.

Marnie