Inside the Relationships of inevitable Harm With Psychopaths

By Sandra L. Brown

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
iwanaries setyawan
As a woman who has experienced this "inevitable harm" I can recommend this book to others in my situation as well as other family members and friends who have also been trampled by the heavy, carefully placed boots of the narcissist. First book I've read that profiles the woman who finds herself in a relationship with a man with NPD. i found it answered so many previously unanswered questions about myself......
THANK YOU.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
corrine brown
I am a competent writer, teacher and painter. I am not a young woman, but I was completely taken by the behavior of a man in Montreal I met on the internet. He was, for lack of a better description, a highly functioning sociopath. Perhaps 'highly functioning is a wrong term. It takes a long time to see the cracks in these cluster b personalities, but they are there.

I read Sandra's book AFTER I had left this 'relationship' but it certainly helped in my understanding about the responsibility I had in this involvement. He was even worse than what Sandra wrote, in her examples.

At one time, I really thought I would die. I thought the shame of it all(and he was a blogger and wrote some whopper lies there for all to read) would kill me. Sandra's book helped in putting things in balance. I certainly understand the level these people will go to justify their behavior.

This man ("Jerry") had over 30 years of doing this kind of damage under the guise of "enhancing" women. Who knows how many women he has seriously damaged?

It took many months to research pathological narcissists, sociopaths, cluster b personalities, etc. It took therapy to put a perspective on his outrageous behavior. Sandra's book put a different spin on the whole banana. I was attracting this kind of monster because of my strengths AND my weaknesses. But the path had been laid in childhood. As an adult woman, I had a lot to consider.

I think the only deficiency in Sandra's book is that she doesn't develop the present and very prominent issue of cyberpaths...the use of technology by these psychopaths. And she says nothing about the realm of BDSM, which is where many of these 'men' come from.

Overall, a very helpful book that should be extended to new issues.

Jane Kohut-Bartels
([...])
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lauren balthrop
Interesting information about Psychopaths in our world. I'm sure everyone has encountered Psychopaths at work, home, family, strangers. Good to know what to look for in order to protect ourselves from these predators. This book can apply to men victims of Psychopaths as well.
Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (2011-06-01) :: The Men Who Stare At Goats by Ronson - Jon (2012) Paperback :: The Men Who Stare at Goats :: Them: Adventures with Extremists :: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
delite
Other than the Bible, this book was the most life-changing. I credit it with changing my life forever and I'm so grateful I stumbled on it. I think every dating child should read it. Education saves a lot of heartache!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tripmastermonkey
Eye opening. Glad I read this. I realized I wasn't alone. The journey to recovery is long, time does help heal, and understanding yourself and why you could even fall in love with a psychopath in the first place is the first step to recovery.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
rachael lander
Although the topic of this book intrigued me I found the way it was presented to be extremely dry and too academic to be even remotely entertaining. I felt as if I could just go read the DSM instead. It felt like I was reading the same layout over and over. The psychopath is high in this. The victim is low in this trait etc etc. While it gives the required information it lacks any color or real-life details/examples to keep it interesting. I've read many good books on psychopathy such as Hare and Cleckley so I'm familiar with the subject. I just thought this book might be different as it focuses on victim traits and outcomes which hasn't really been covered as much IMO. But IMO the idea that selfish, manipulative people would choose kind, trusting, lonely, bored and malleable people as victims shouldn't come as a great shock to reasonably intelligent people.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dee toomey
I had just broken up with my boyfriend when a friend recommended this book to me. I read it in less than two weeks. I was absolutely amazed at how accurately it portrayed my relationship with my ex-boyfriend!!! I mean it made my spine shiver how she details their evil and their exact behavior patterns, I mean it was as if she was a fly on the wall taking notes!

I have learned so much from this book and realize now why I became a victim. Now in therapy, I am working on the root cause of why I became prey to this emotional vampire, and why I will NEVER ever allow another man like this into my life again.

The destruction caused by these men in your life is so detailed by Sandra, and so accurate! How she describes cognitive dissonance, intrusive thoughts, reactive anger, the evil, the mind games... I never knew such evil existed on the face of something so beautiful. I remember calling him and angel when we were dating... I completely fell for him, hook line an sinker... They really make you feel like they love you, like they are connected, emotionally available... everything you need/want in a man... and then as soon as they realize they've got you hooked, you become an emotional, mental, spiritual target for destruction. They find your button and the push it... it's a horrid experience I wouldn't wish on any woman. At heart they are mysogynists!

I'm sorry to say, Sandra is pinpoint accurate in how they attach, but cannot connect emotionally at all. My ex was onto his next victim within two months after our two year relationship!! Which he did with me and with his ex wife as well. Good thing I got to sit down with his ex and have some heart to hear conversations, wherein I learned that we both had the same horrific experience with him. We seem to have been able to give each other what we would never get from him, validation and closure. All the horrible behaviors are outlined in detail in the book. They truly are Emotional Vampires and they truly are something much different than they appear to be. Do not be fooled ladies, they come in beautifully wrapped packages... AND SO DOES SATAN!

I recommend this book to all women, first and foremost, knowledge is power, arm yourself with the truth, and Sandra's book is full of truth. I know, I lived it, I learned the hard way, these men do exist and they are extremely dangerous. And what's even more scary than that, their friends have NO IDEA that they are psychopaths that prey on women. So they enable their behavior to continue. Why? Because they never show their truth self to them, ever. They lie about the women to their friends, claim victim status, blame the woman for everything and they never own responsbility for what they do or how their behavior affects others. They just don't care, despite how they make themselves appear to their friends and family, they are not these innocent victims of "a broken picker" as my ex used to say. They are the problem, and they always will be, they leave nothing but destruction in their wake. They are an evil this world could do without.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sampson
Book Review - --I was asked what kind of women attract the narcissist (and psychopath) - I just finished reading Sandra L. Brown, M.A.'s Women Who Love Psychopaths. This is an AMAZINGLY encompassing work and I'd say that coming through a relationship of inevitable harm, I found it relief-exploding in the evaluation of women who suffer from such contact. I said repeatedly that I felt my goodness was turned against me...and she categorizes just what and why this occurs....and "codependency" isn't in the mix. Women connected to the strange sycophant actually began the relationship "while impaired" - past periods of extended care-giving, loss such as divorce...even boredom. This is a unique study of the "victims" of psychopaths and their assets such as relationship investment. So many of the traits have been misdiagnosed as attachment formats. This illustrates the predictable cycle of these relationships and why the bonding is so strong - how the woman, normally strong and vital, feels so fragile or mentally ill. Dissonance from the victim's perspective has a great deal to do with the psychopath's dichotomy of his childlike quality and adult mystique, not to mention communication skills and techniques.

The entire book is compiled with data, explanation, reason, and connectivity. There is no fluff within the covers.

The reasons we find ourselves captivated by these "alien essences" can be
brought to light and Sandra Brown does this with clarity and an empathic comprehension - especially within the awareness of women because it is embarrassing being caught in the lure of sexuality. We are intelligent...and capable...and yet,
we succumbed to some fairy tale -explained are the release of hormones and the staging by the psychopath, even the differentiation in his use of language.

We who have been taught that communication is the tool for problem solving
find ourselves in the Twilight Zone. In so many fields and places in our
lives, we have no answers and even negatively critical judgments about "our
behavior." We are being held to incompatible standards. There exist so many conflicts with belief systems, ideologies, and spiritual and religious
principles where compassion is revered. It seems that we victims have been
"hoisted on our own petards."

....Ms. Brown's book covers everything I questioned....and it is an
affirmation that "something wicked this way comes." I don't mean to sound so
melodramatic that my review is discounted. The AHA-moments were almost at
every page, and most assuredly in every chapter. There is - if one enjoys
science fiction - a correlation with the short-lived TV show, "Threshold."
Awareness takes time.

I know many on blogs are "nutters" in their own right, mostly because they have not found the data to help themselves. So many therapists have simply not understood and the "pie-in-the-sky" New Thought folks have not come in
contact with this form of "alien" presence. It's not that it is evil (maybe
- ?), but the two philosophies for life - those in healthy (just the ups and
downs of routine dysfunctions, perhaps) states and those suffering
psychopathy are simply incompatible. Your phrase, "relationships of
inevitable harm" will forever ring true to me.

Here is the BIG QUESTION - and one ripe for a new book....because the numbers of psychopaths appear to be rising, how are we to live with these beings? I
understand the no contact rule and it is VITAL...but in the long run with the
thought that these people cannot be treated, for humanity, what are we to do?

Every chapter in her book has dog-eared corners in my home. I carry it with me to the restroom, I return it to the coffee table...and I USE it for reference.

As always in this life, the lessons are much more about myself. AND Sandra's
treatment of us victims is kind, observant, and chocked full of evaluational
data. I am floored and delighted that there are explanations for super
traits rather than that we have "failed" to be bright enough, wise enough, or even aware enough. I gleaned that my traits might just be valuable.
Somewhere the patriarchal (and yet, I have learned that men can be victims,
also) guidelines have become overly and overtly zealous. I don't believe it
is as simplistic as relationships with authority that comes into question,
although, our deep seated thoughts on "happily ever after" probably filters
many of our personal scope of evaluations.

I am never quite as trusting as once I was...and because I have daughters and grandsons, I am alert to those in our realm and my own reactions to them. I'm not paranoid, but neither do I let a brief intuitive feeling flow past without a moment of appraisal.

I wrote this (below) - and share it....so much is falling into place for me
(and MANY others) because of THIS book, Women Who Love Psychopaths, in
particular. I have read Brown's other works, but this one is of monumental
importance! There must be a more moving way to say this. It struck a chord
of complete connection and affirmation within my very being and soul. There
is REASON for the chaos into which I fell. And all with the best of
intentions. It is not concisely ONE AHA-moment, but everything in the book.
The explanations cover daily life with a psychopath...the lure, the
treatment, the forever changing terrain and MOST importantly the way we who
fall prey respond. For me, this book relates to my daily heartaches, fears,
anguish, and quest for my ideal. Not just of the relationship, but of the
"me" I knew before this fear-fest of an encounter. The absolute torture was
in the faltering grasp of my own humanity. AND to have AGREEMENT is CRUCIAL
for survival...not just mouthed upsets and emotions, but to comprehend the
why's. Interestingly, as I look over this review, I see the feelings
expressed. Our society seems to be based on these very emotions and the need to join and establish rapport. Transferring our thoughts and feelings onto this "other" who is called a psychopath reminds me of Michael Crichton's
book, Sphere. " What if the contact with an alien or artifact has no frame of
reference for us as human beings" is the gist of the novel. It appears to
have come to life today.

With profound respect and gratitude for allowing me to feel that my "style"
of emotional sharing is NOT the CAUSE of the psychopath's evil in pinpointing
me. It is, albeit, something to be watched and monitored by me, myself.
THANK YOU!

*********
Becky Reed ----

A Fairy Tale: Armageddon came Stealthily...

Once upon a time in a land called Earth, a species known as hominid developed
and populated the great globe. Surviving travail and cultural crises, the
societies rumbled forward - many individuals and groups striving for the
betterment of mankind. There did occur apparent deviations from global
empathy, but the other sectors of mankind continued to right their vector
momentum and crusade toward higher goals of mass survival and opportunity to
thrive as both individuals and congregations. The criteria focused upon
uplifted values and ethical perspectives for both mankind and the Earth.

As the citizenry grew, New Thought in the molding of ideas acted as a placebo
in calming and guiding the more highly educated and industrialized beings.
With the study of this domain of knowledge, presences could choose thought
patterns and people with whom to associate. This path carried them away from
the hubbub of troubles and daily engrossment in procuring the needs for base
physical continuation and those of remedially soothing influences on
emotional drives.

Preoccupied with attainment of beliefs and systems of convictions of truth,
and with confidence in this habit of mind, the inhabitants with all the
privileges of free men became less aware of other activities in their realm.
The great institutions of learning had categorized knowledge, functionality,
reasoning, and had even established schools of remediation for aberrant
intent of cogitation.

Within this finely tuned paradigm developed a tumor-like deviation of being
whose thought processes did not house the ability to experience empathy. The
vast scholarly institutions held that this was a psychological impulse of
will, could be corrected, and went about the business of formulating
treatments to reestablish balance for the individual, and thus, society as a
whole.

Insurgency began to arise within small numbers of natives who disagreed with
those within the great halls of understanding and their comprehension of
truth. Straying from the hallmarks of data and using primitive observation,
these rebels began to formulate a new idea - one divergent from the
psychological treatment vectors. This new concept began to take shape as
those within society reported horrific anguish from contact with a differing
strain of hominid. In these encounters, individuals found themselves
mesmerized, deprived of their original self-hood, callously used, devalued
while following the best and highest forms of their belief systems, having
their values and purposes shaken, and then unceremoniously "left for
dead." Rarely could aid be

found to salve the damaged psyches of the victims, for the true believers of
the old psychology formats simply were unable to fit the data into their
stable and well-acknowledged schools of belief.

Could it be that this uncustomary encounter with a divergent strain of
citizen could be more than a mutual tangency with an abnormally motivated
being? What if an influential drive was not the root, but an intrinsic style
of operation? How were the majority of presences to relate to this, and more
to the point, how were they to protect themselves from emotional harm? These
relationships proved unavoidably destructive to the well-being of individuals
and filtered to society.

The insurgents pooled efforts, information, and unified contact to discover
an amazing similarity with experiential reports. The strange behaviors of a
group of beings whose common description could be a total absence of empathy
began to form the base of understanding an event-horizon for any who remained
in contact. The most honored notions of forgiveness could not hold stasis and
a return to valued normality with this uncharted manner of conduct.

To remain viably humane and uphold the values of their domain, the primary
citizens recognized that the exclusion of "the others" was not an option
and yet, there might be no rehabilitation possible for this new strain of
presence. They would need to define a new application of learning which might
offer tools to formally acknowledge actions coupled with intuitive feelings
of those coming in contact with the alien co-citizenry. In addition,
techniques would be required to heal the damaged persons left in the wake of
such predators.

The glorious past eras of golden virtues might have faded, but a fearless
approach to handling the challenge of meshing two entirely foreign ideologies
for joint survival on the globe called Earth would stand as a gateway. This
ascension would bring change to the tried and true beliefs of the departed
generations and perhaps a tarnished overview of life as that given by the
prophets and teachers of great creeds. Today would prove an opening to a road
of awareness. Knowledge, itself, is not power, but the ability to use that
information and to do so with righteous intent would mark an evolving
humanity as it strives to incorporate the incompatible into a new world. We,
the insurgents are not the same. And so, it begins.

**********
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marinka
This book was extremely helpful in many area's we tend to overlook. From my personal exspirience- the author does an excellent job explaining in full detail the issues at hand. The traits psychopaths have with this disorder coincide exactly to what I have witnessed in my relationship. A must buy! You won't regret it!!!!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
csearles14015
WOMEN...who love psychos.The information concerning dangerous men is ok. It somewhat generalizes all the different components that work together in order to turn a man into a psychopath without the expansion on the specifics. The way that it is written is also very staggered and after a bit it became a struggle to finish. The information that was collected wasn't too scientific and the editing was done very poorly as it is riddled with all sorts of grammatical error. Another important thing to mention is the unnecessary in your face opinions of the writer and the rehash in every chapter of the previous. I was looking to be informally enriched as i read but when I continued to read my hopes had gone down the tubes. After the first couple chapters it becomes an extended re run with a one sided coin in its pocket.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
abby
This book is passable as far as the prose goes and does a pretty good job explaining what a psychopath is and how women are often fooled by them. But the author also tends to be a bit showy, over-explaining concepts and using various buzz-words like she's doing an interview for 60 Minutes or something. Also, when it comes to science, I would prefer an even-handed approach, but she made some strange decisions, such as comparing the traits of psychopaths to Bible scripture. Those parts did little but convince me that the author likes the Bible. It didn't really seem pertinent, but those kinds of oddities are par for the course in this book. At another point, rather than use the word "bitch," the author instead opted for using symbols like "[email protected]&#h", which also seemed like a strange choice considering the material being discussed. Does the author believe that her audience will be turned off from hearing a naughty word while reading about psychopaths? These kinds of things call into question the author's expertise and judgement, but they're more speed bumps than stop signs as far as reading goes. Overall, the book is better than I expected it to be and I learned quite a lot from it. It's definitely not a definitive source on the subject, nor will it win any awards for wordplay, but I wouldn't recommend against buying it if you are highly interested in psychopaths.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
tapsyturvy
The chapter on the involvement of the brain in psychopathy was disappointingly junk science. Ms. Brown kept referring to the same authors to support her claims, but offered no evidence of the research conducted by those authors. She ascribed to the corpus callosum more attributes and functions than neuroscientists do. This chapter and the lack of grammatical editing of the book decreased its worth in my eyes. I am a licensed clinical psychologist.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kyle
Wouldn't you like to be able to recognize scam artists before you got cheated out of your life savings? Wouldn't you want to identify Losers before you become romantically involved with them? They say that one learns more from experience than from books, but that's not necessarily the case. Bad experiences can cause so much financial and emotional devastation that recovering from them becomes very difficult: for some, even impossible. How many times have you run across women who date the same kind of bad men, without learning anything from their experiences except heartache? Eventually, many women settle for bad men, believing that all men are like that or that they somehow deserve the mistreatment. Learning to recognize dangerous individuals can spare us and our loved ones years of hardship. In fact, personal experience and psychological information can work together. Books that identify the characteristics of dangerous individuals can help us recognize red flags and escape real-life predatory relationships early on, with far less damage to our wallets and our lives.
One of the most helpful books in this genre is Dr. Sandra L. Brown`s newest edition of Women Who Love Psychopaths: Insde the Relationship of Inevitable Harm with Psychopaths, Sociopaths and Narcissists (Mask Publishing, 2009). This is a long title for a book that gets straight point in explaining clearly, for a general audience, the characteristics of dangerous individuals. Dr. Brown explains that dangerous men (and women) suffer from unfixable personality disorders: psychopathy and narcissism in particular. Such individuals have constitutive emotional deficiencies. They can't form meaningful bonds with others. Although they don't bond emotionally, they do attach to others. Just as parasites latch on to healthy bodies, so psychopaths latch on to decent human beings to suck the life out of them. If they would be easy to detect, most of us would avoid these social parasites like the plague. Unfortunately, however, psychopaths are social chameleons who can disguise their evil natures. They come across as exceptionally charming, friendly, humorous, kind, entertaining and very romantic. Initially, they appear to be perfect romantic partners. Their glibness and charm, as well as their propensity for deception and disguise, often masks their malicious intent. Psychopaths have no conscience, are impulsive and reward-driven and get bored easily. For such individuals, cheating, lying and hurting others is a pleasurable game: a form of entertainment.
We often read about psychopaths in the news. Their lack of conscience enables them to commit horrible crimes, including rape, pedophilia and murder. Most psychopaths, however, aren't hardened criminals. They're swindlers and love frauds, temporarily attaching to decent human beings to milk them of money, shelter and affection: sometimes, to destroy them. For all practical purposes, how psychopaths became disordered isn't as important to their victims as the fact that they can't significantly improve their behavior. Whether they're evil by nature, nurture, or a combination of both, they will still cheat on you, lie to you, use you, and perhaps even steal your money along with your heart. When involved with a psychopath, Dr. Brown emphasizes, there's nothing you can do to change him or his disorder. The one thing you can-and should do-is save yourself.
Because psychopaths cause so much harm to society, there are numerous clinical studies of their personality disorder. In addition, the true crime shelves of bookstores are packed with salacious accounts of their misdeeds. But there are practically no comparable studies of their tens of millions of victims. Just do the math. Psychologists estimate that between 1 and 4 percent of the population is psychopathic. This adds up to several million psychopaths in this country alone. Because psychopaths are highly promiscuous and form dozens of relationships, a single psychopath can damage the lives of dozens of women. That's several million persons hurt, sometimes beyond repair, by the malicious actions of these disordered individuals. In the literature on psychopathy, the victims are often the forgotten part of the equation: even though they outnumber by far the psychopaths themselves. Women Who Love Psychopaths is the most comprehensive study I know of about the female victims, from their own perspective. This book reveals the whole picture: the psychopaths and their hosts.
Dr. Brown focuses her clinical study on a few dozen women who depict in great detail their horrific experiences with psychopaths. But it's important to note that these women could be any of us. They weren't particularly weak, or gullible, or uneducated individuals. On the contrary: this book reveals that the women who fall in love with psychopaths tend to be trusting, accomplished, devoted persons with good characters and high emotional investment in their romantic relationships. Psychopaths prefer to test their strength against strong and moral women, not against those they consider weak or already corrupt. These women became involved with psychopaths because they were initially fooled by their "mask of sanity": the good image that any psychopath projects to those whom he wants to seduce and use. They fell prey to the ruse not because they were especially naive, but because very little prepares us in life for the kind of person who systematically deceives, uses, exploits and harms others, just for the fun of it and with malice. Statistically, psychopaths are relatively common. But psychologically they're highly abnormal. We will not be able to identify them or comprehend their malicious motives if our frame of reference is relatively normal human beings. To identify psychopaths and protect ourselves against them, we need to become acquainted with the basics of abnormal psychology.
Moreover, it's not easy to see through a psychopath's mask of sanity before getting burned. This is especially true when the psychopaths themselves are educated, attractive and employed in well-respected professions-as teachers, professors, lawyers, doctors, counselors, therapists or businessmen-which is often the case. Without a basic understanding of personality disorders and awareness of our own vulnerabilities to dangerous individuals, most of us couldn't spot or defend ourselves against these wolves in sheep's clothing. This is exactly the invaluable information that Dr. Brown's book offers us.
Women Who Love Psychopaths focuses on psychopathy as a relationship between psychopaths and their chosen targets. Looking at psychopaths in isolation is not enough. It doesn't reveal how they latch on to normal individuals; how they fool us. Without finding numerous willing partners-to dupe, mistreat and use-a psychopath ceases to function. To grasp the danger posed by psychopathic individuals, we therefore need to understand both sides of the coin: the personality traits of the psychopaths themselves as well as our own potential vulnerabilities to psychopathic seduction. Women Who Love Psychopaths reveals this more complete picture. Think about how many self-defense classes are taught in this country. Sadly, there's no equivalent for psychological defense. This must-read book is about emotional self-defense, which should be our first line of protection against social predators.
Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lizard
This book is not about love at all. It's about addiction. It is about loneliness. Women who think they love Psychopaths and others like them, don't really know what love is. It is first about loving yourself which these women are unable to do. There is an emptiness inside where shamefulness lives, cutting the psyche off from relating more authentically. There is no relationship here only two people whose shame and guilt have come to define their lives. I'm not sure if the women Brown is describing really are clueless about these disordered Joes'. I bet they are seething inside but too timid and frightened to assert their individuality. Shapiro, "Neurotic styles", (1973) tells us these disorders of awareness are fostered by patterns of responding which are motivated by the avoidance of anxiety that precludes reflection. Dorner tells us that conflict situations generate habits of thought which set failure in motion from the beginning (The Logic of Failure, 1997). Since splitting pervades the psychopathic process, conflict is inevitable even from the start (The Psychopathic Mind, Meloy, 1988). I agree with Brown's fine explanation of the the disordered brain and the consequences for misreading and misunderstanding cues. She does a terrific job explaining the background features and traits of vulnerable women who have not achieved a sense a closure from a history of stress or despair. Brown tells us that looking at such disordered men from the perspective she describes, "No woman in her right mind would choose him". My explanation is that these women are not really in their right mind to begin with. This is about 'make believe Jane meeting make believe Dick, and little else. The two fall together by happenstance not love. You might say, these are relationships normally meant to be one night stands or better yet, simply fatal encounters of the all too common kind. Overall, the book let's the victim save face by compassionately guiding her through the stages of love-blindness and ultimately, despair. These relationships are debilitating and corrosive and should be avoided as these men are harmful to your health, like poison. The women who become victims usually are quite sensitive from birth and as such, rarely find true companionship or intimacy by the time they reach adulthood. Reid Meloy tells us in "Violent Attachments" (1997) that the key to understanding why women stay attached to painful situations with men is simply, loneliness. Loneliness keeps the woman from registering that what she feels has significance. Since she typically feels too much, anxiety at the thought of separation is too overwhelming to confront. The narcissistic men and the more disordered men are more than happy to lead the lonely victim around by the nose if she will just let them. This book is about the men who do the leading and the women who follow the lead. Women who do not assert their own identity, will, inadvertently be merging with his. This is about two people with one mind, not about love. This is not about love at all. It's about addiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mike johnson
As a mental health professional and the victim/survivor of 2 relationships with psychopaths (one of whom is a presentable, handsome and seemingly highly moral psychiatrist - so please have no illusions about how these men may appear) I have both read prolifically on the subject of cluster b personality disorders and their traumatic impact and experienced it first hand.

It is refreshing to read a well researched book by a professional expert in this very specialist field. This is in no way intended to trivualise the vital contributions made by writers who are experts by experience, but a research based book of this kind is both welcome and crucial, in order for the subject to be taken more seriously.

That the onus is on the women themselves is very important - it is so easy in this situation to focus on your ex's pathology 'how can a human not have a conscience?!' To look at ourselves and how the best parts of ourselves (what Brown refers to as a victims 'super traits') become twisted and broken down by in essence a 'hungry' psychopath is both validating and empowering. As Brown states psychopaths are the most dangerous men on the planet. They present as the opposite of who they are and profile a partner to hook you in very deeply. Psychopathy makes good movies but for many of us, their fallout is or has been severe real life consequences, including the killing of hope- this should be something that everybody cares about.

It would have been interesting to have heard a word about male victims too - though likely to be fewer they do ofcourse exist and may find seeking understanding and sollace even more difficult.

Even if you are not the victim - believe me - you don't want to be (none of us did/do contrary to popular myth...) and neither do you want to be someone who colludes with psychopathic/narcissistic abuse by silencing/ignoring it in your daughter/ co-worker/sister/friend who may all be possible prey. The Psychopath moves smoothly, with eyes that might seem soft for a while... arm yourself and others with life saving knowledge.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gricha
Here is a very well written and well researched account that anybody who has been involved with a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath will appreciate. The author has many years of practicing therapy in a multitude of settings under her belt, and beyond the insights gleaned from that experience, she also gives us some scientific underpinnings. She helps you understand the traits in yourself that attract these men to you and that keep you from recognizing them for what they are sooner; and the work you then need to do on yourself to recognize these hurtful and emotionally abusive people. Certain women are targeted over and over again by sociopaths because of their own traits. These include being independent, beautiful, successful women -- who are too trusting, compassionate, and open. You do not expect the man, who is charming and smart and convincing, to be playing some kind of game. A sociopathic man will be charming, bright, exciting to be with, and...a liar, a cheater, controlling, hiding things, and incredibly good at manipulating. If you need help in healing in a healthy way from such an emotionally abusive relationship, and in avoiding future ones, do not hesitate to read this book and to keep it at hand. Mine is on my bedside table as a constant reminder!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
brenna recny
I bought this book in part due to its interesting title (and I was picking up Jon Ronson's "Psychopath Test" at the same time) and in part due to the glowing reviews on the store.

Although I learned one or two interesting ideas about how/why certain women might be more susceptible to certain psychopaths, I found the book to be so unscientific as to be virtually worthless.

Please note that all the information in this book is derived from women solicited on a website to fill out a survey and who self-report that they had been in relationships with psychopaths. There is no outside confirmation that any of those men were psychopaths aside from the reports of the women who had been involved with them. (Note that there is also no questioning as to whether any of the women voluntarily responding to the survey had any mental illness or personality disorder. All the women were portrayed as bright, professional women with no mental health issues of any kind, prior to the harm they experienced at the hands of a psychopath.)

I was curious whether any of the men I had been involved with might be classified as psychopaths, but I couldn't really use any of the data in the book to determine this. For one thing, I was immediately excluded as "the sort of woman who gets involved with psychopaths" because I'm an introvert, not an extrovert. All the examples given were of extroverted professional women getting involved with extroverted charming psychopaths. In addition to the women being reduced to a specific type, the relationship pattern was always the same. I.e., the pattern of the bright woman/manipulative psychopath relationship always begins with mind-blowing sex and soulmate passion, changing to manipulation and control while the psychopath moves on to his next sexual conquest. (Surely there must be other patterns, but these are not discussed. How about women who remain married to psychopaths for 30 years--like the woman in Austria whose husband kept their own daughter imprisoned as a sex slave in the basement of their apartment building for over 20 years? Surely that guy was a psychopath--right? But his type is not discussed in this book, because the only women who reported info for this survey were bright professional women who had left their psychopaths, not numb housewives who were still living with theirs.)

Another questionable technique is the way Brown quotes her own work as an outside source. Sentences like "According to "Women Who Love Psychopaths"..." abound. This is a way of making information you have come up with yourself sound more scientific (as if you are quoting a reputable outside source), but when you are only quoting your own book, in fact the very book the reader is now reading, it doesn't inspire confidence.

The end of the book wraps up with a pitch for Sandra Brown's online services. This made the whole book feel like a thinly disguised sales pitch to me. I'm sure it's no coincidence that the primary market for Sandra Brown's suite of counseling services would be professional women (read: women with disposable income)--precisely the same women who responded to the initial survey and who are depicted in the book.

Lastly, I'll comment on the poor editing/proofreading. The book is filled with grammatical errors, wrong words, etc. My personal favorite was the frequent references to "power mongrels" (when what is meant is "power mongers").

This book may be interesting in giving you some insight into a certain type of woman who might be susceptible to a certain type of psychopathic relationship. You may identify with some of the information and find it enlightening or comforting. I did get a few insights out of the material. Just be a sensible consumer and take it all with a big grain of salt.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zombie
Women typically know when something is 'off' in their relationships, and yet most don't want to believe that they could ever be fooled by a psychopath, be drawn into his lethal web of lies and emotional chaos. Unfortunately, psychopaths are so charmingly suave and manipulative that women don't realize there's a monster behind all the charm until it's too late and they're hooked. This book covers all the emotional traps and pitfalls that women fall into because of their need to 'save him', even 'heal him' from his so-called broken childhood or past. You'll read it over and over again. The author helps you clearly identify the character traits and behaviors of the various personal disorders, and having that knowledge makes you feel a little more powerful. I'm amazed at how this book gave me so many 'Aha!' moments.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ancuta clim
There are plenty of psychopathic people around and many women have experienced relationships with them.

Contrary to popular thought, it is not always easy to identify these men. They are on their best behavior early in relationships and they are not always violent, but the cause harm in psychological, spiritual or emotional ways.

If you have been raised with abuse or poor boundaries or have been in a relationship with a narcissistic boyfriend or boss, you may be less able to identify psychopathic people and more likely to get involved with them.

Learn about the patterns that you need to break so you can have healthy relationships and learn how to recognize and avoid unhealthy partners.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
running target
I have been involved with a sadist psychopath, do to the trauma bond and the brainwashing, two years I was with him in a serious relationship the past year has been him hovering me in which I always have let him back into my life, even though he is in a new relationship, I felt like I was trapped in this prison cell that only he had the key, yet he was the one who throws me in and locks it.
Threw research and therapy and this book I have finally build up enough strength to turn down his last attempt to contact me which was three weeks ago.
I just got this book and I am amazed, it is helping me so much already and I am just only on the third chapter, this is really changing my life, I also go to a domestic violence support group but it still makes me feel alienated because it’s not the same as someone literally trying to drive you crazy( he used to break into my house and move things around and leave lights on that I knew I had turned off and one time he even put a light bulb in to where there was none it had burned out and I went to his house to find a brand new package of light bulbs with one missing yet he still denied it) until he thought it was funny then he admitted it! Not only did he abuse me mentally and physically he literally tried to drive me insane! He is the worst kind he is very sadistic and violent, and though I don’t want to believe it I do believe he will Hoover me forever as long as he knows where I am, he is a monster and it was always so hard for me to believe it, I was in major denial, he always used to tell me (after the mask cracked, and it always will if you spend enough time with them) I don’t know who I’m dealing with and yes he was correct.
One of my defense mechanisms was to think somewhere in him there had to be a little light because no one could be that evil and if I could reach it I could help him, but that is a false, they will never change, he can not feel pain I do believe he is proud of that fact (which he had told me) no conscience, no empathy, no compassion, no guilt, he believes he is superior and anyone who shows emotion is weak
I am out of the fog and trying to get completely out of the trauma bond it is he hardest thing I have ever had to do, he used to threaten to kill me but I was in denial of course, but now I realize that he could kill me and not even have one ounce of guilt. And I don’t think he will ever leave me alone as long as he knows where I live, that’s just a little of my story
One of the most isolating feelings is that no one understands even Theapists, even domestic violence Theapists, even trauma Theapists ect... I have even considered suicide yet I know that would be the ultimate prize for him, depression and just ultimate devastation, and betrayal in which I never thought was possible.
This book has literally saved my life, for once it all makes so much sense and it has brought me into the reality in black and white in what I am dealing with
Thank you so much for writing this book, and I would definitely advise anyone who is going through this to read this book it’s literally saving my life!
All the guilt and shame that I have felt for three years is dissipating, and finally makes sense, my strength is growing stronger day by day but my gut feeling is he will be back and that scares me to no end, if you are going back and forth because of hovering it only gets worse, they will pretend to love you ect, but in reality all they are is soulless creatures and are capable of anything, and get off to see you in pain, My intuition told me from the beginning something wasn’t right about him I so wish I had listened, but of course I wanted to help him and I really wanted to get into his mind because in the beginning I did find him fascinating, there will always be a partial hole in my heart for all the pain he has inflicted into my life yet I am lucky to be alive!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tiffany acosta
this book portrays the most common profile of women who fall for psychopaths and I must admit that I fit that profile quite well (though not completely). I've even had the unfortunate surprise to discover that I even have some of the medical side effects of a relationship with such a bad character - low serotonin and dermatographia (an autoimmune condition). I was shocked when I saw my blood results and I remembered having read about these in this book.
i recommend this book because it helped me identify which of my traits my ex-husband used to manipulate me and get what he wanted from me. i do believe that reading this book will help women (and also men) identify psychopaths more easily and also work on areas that made them vulnerable.
i do not agree with the author's conclusions that the profile doesn't suggest codependency issues. while those that fall victims are not necessarily codependent, some traits do relate strongly to that personality disorder (the need for the psychopaths not to hold a negative view of themselves, high tolerance, low/insufficient barriers).
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
riley borklund
This book is a lifesaver for anyone who has been through a relationship with a narcissist or sociopath. It explains the biggest questions of all -- how did this happen and why am I still so attached to this person?

As far as I know, this is the first time that the victims in these relationships have been researched, and the results are eye-opening. They largely fit a type -- which is generally a good type, except not in the company of pathological users. The process by which they are drawn into these relationships and how they are compromised and eventually damaged by abusive partners is laid out very clearly.

If you're feeling confused and disoriented by a destructive relationship, wondering what's wrong with you, this is your book. If you're trying to get over one of these relationships (and hating yourself for being too stupid to live), this is your book. And most of all, if you're ready to recover your self-esteem and step onto the path to loving and trusting again, you will be grateful for every word of this outstanding research.

I gave it four stars, rather than five, because the initial section on sociopaths is not the best material available on the topic. There is too much emphasis placed on genetic inclinations that are still largely theories and not enough on the environmental issues that are clearly a causative factor in the explosion of anti-social types we see around us. A book needs to be written at some point about the impact of war, poverty, unrestrained materialism and family dysfunction on the rise of anti-social types among our children.

But don't let this issue keep you from buying it. The really valuable material about sociopaths is in the descriptions of how they hook their victims and cement the relationships. There is nothing else like this book for people who didn't get out of an exploitative in time, and are dealing with the emotional damage and material losses. The authors have really broken ground here, and the help they offer is real.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
missy reed
This book offers so much insight on why we became victims and why we reacted the way we did. The author explains what goes on in our brain and it clarifies without shame why we keep forgiving and going back when we know it's wrong. This book is sure to send someone on the path of healing. A must read to begin understanding and healing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bart omiej
Based off a case study of seventy-five women, Women Who Love Psychopaths is Sandra Brown's latest tome dealing with dangerous men, and how to spot them before they can seriously cause damage. Liane Leedom also contributed, however her view of psychopathy is something more along the lines of the DSM-IV category, which anyone who studies the subject know is grossly misleading and quite inaccurate. The book offers a look inside the minds of psychopaths (which is the part I recommend you skip), as well as the minds and emotional traits of the women that tend to be their victims. It also gives an extremely details look at the 'bonding' process these women go through, how their psychopaths were able to hook them and keep them once their pathological behavior starts to rear its ugly head.

My biggest complaint about the book are its contributions by Liane Leedom. For example, on page 19 we're told, "ADHD is often a precursor to psychopathy." which simply isn't true. No reference is cited nor have I seen this in the classic literature (Hare, Cleckley, etc.) There was also a tendency to quote Wikipedia as if it's a reliable source. If I've learned anything about Wikipedia is that it's good for something, mundane things, like the temperature of the sun or a superficial look at history or definitions, but when it comes to sensitive topics, like the Israel-Palestinian bit, Iran, or psychopathy that the information is likely to be skewed in favor of the mainstream. If you want a good example contrast these two entries on the topic: [...] and [...] That latter one has good case studies of individual nut jobs too if you're interested.

What I really like about WWLP is that it gives us a good look at the women (and by extension anyone) who has a tendency to fall for psychopathic personalities and get ensnared in their pathological machinations. It gives us a plethora of red flags to look for in terms of their behavior, which can be useful in identifying pathological personalities at home, at work, or in our social life.

Some choice quotes on the matter:

"Interestingly, this is the only major trait that the psychopath's woman shares with the psycho¬path--the issue of extraversion and excitement seeking. This is the attraction, the hook-up factor, and the issue upon which their dating relationship was based, the exciting extraverted life they both want to live! If you wondered what the first part of their attraction to each other was: here it is! But there is also more to what attracted her and kept them together."

"As wonderful as competitiveness is in regular life, her competitiveness however, is a downfall in the relationship with the psychopath. This is because as the relationship begins to become patho¬logically-driven and his crazy-making increases instead of running for the hills she is likely to stay and battle it out."

"Women who love psychopaths tested very high in relationship investment and positive sociability. These are the kinds of women psychopaths like to target. The psychopath uses positive rewards to establish his patterns of power, control, and dominance in a woman's life."

"If a woman is ending a previous relationship in which she didn't get much affection, hooking up with a psychopath can feel like she has hit the 'Affection Lotto!' At least in the beginning many psychopaths know that to give affection is to increase her sense of attachment, and her corresponding loyalty. Psychopaths see affection as a way of exerting power and dominance over both the relationship and the emotions of their partners"

"These cooperation traits are her drawing card to a psychopath. Her over-flowing empathy, tolerance, friendliness, compassion, supportiveness and her moral prin¬ciples are what balance the lopsided scales of the relationship with him, since he lacks these quali¬ties. This delicate balance helps to camouflage the glaring gaps of the character traits between them. Her cooperativeness helps to smooth out the character he doesn't have and makes the relationship seem more normal. We think that very high cooperativeness is the most significant reason these specific women were targeted. Psychopaths instinctively know that women high in coopera¬tiveness will stay in relationships with them longer."

I could go on, but you get the idea. Friendly, cooperative, empathic, loyal, extraverted, tolerant, well-adjusted women are like a gold-mine, literally, for the psychopath. He'll use her strengths against her in order to keep her right where he wants her, while he drains her bank account, emotional vitality and all of the time their psychological and physiological health suffers as a result.

One of the most interesting traits I discovered during the reading was: "..the women in the survey when given the choice between trusting what the psychopath says he has done/not done/or will do, or trusting what she has caught him actually doing, women who love psychopaths will likely choose the words over the actions."

Now that's pretty scary. We're also given info on how he uses sex as a primer, in order to have her bond with him, chemically:

"Sex kick-starts the premature bonding process. The touching and sexual stimulation seals the love bond. The stimulation of the vagina and cervix during sex causes the release of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin. These hormones travel to the bonding centers of the brain and produce an emotional and hormonal attachment to the man. The importance of these hormones in female attachment is these are the exact hormones produced in pregnancy and nursing. They are responsible for a woman's ability to bond to babies! The more sex she has with the psychopath, the more these attachment hormones are released, and the more bonded she feels to the psychopath. This isn't merely the cuddling of love making. This is a biochemical process occurring in her body and brain increasing her sense of attachment...but tragically, to a psychopath! These are the hormones of motherhood attachment. Just like motherly love is unconditional, a sexual bond is also unconditional. She will find out just what it will cost her to have this intense unconditional attachment and love bond to a psychopath."

Psychopaths also instinctively know how to induce trance-like states in normal people:

"Trance produces perceptual biases. That means if the psychopath is telling her wonderful things and she is euphoric with him, she tends to associate wonderful and euphoric things with the memory of him...even after he's turned into a monster. While in trance, a woman tends to "cement" what she felt or learned in that state. That's why it's so difficult for women to believe he's a liar, swindler, or cheater because she learned all the wonderful things about him in trance states that have been "cemented" in her memory."

It's a chilling read. Later the book has discussions of what the women felt while their were with their psychopath, and how it has affected their lives once they've managed to break away from them. Most interestingly we are given a step by step explanation of the relationship as it progresses from the initial meet and attraction, subsequent bonding and infatuation to the eventual downward spiral into emotional manipulation, psychological (sometimes physical and sexual) abuse, and financial loss.

Overall Women Who Love Psychopaths is a great book, solely for it's look into pathological "love" relationships, how they get started, their downward trend, and the overall affects on the lives of the non-pathological partner. The stories are real, visceral, and sad and should serve to educate all of us on the warning signs, before we too before another victim.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cupchurch
Psychopaths, Sociopaths, Narcissist - they are out there in large numbers! They have absolutely no conscience and strong persuasive powers! I was unaware that they even existed until a year ago. These characters inflict a great deal of harm to the human race. Many gravitate towards positions of power! Ever wonder what type of people could be running our country? Read the book! It will open your eyes! There are a lot of good books on the subject! I highly recommend this book and The Sociopath Next Door - by Martha Stout!

This should be required reading of the utmost importance!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
claudio arena
This book has been a life-saver for me. I am a physician currently in a high-conflict divorce from a psychopath, and had never encountered such pure evil in my life, and never really believed that such people existed. Sandra's wisdom has been so valuable, teaching me to learn of the importance of listening to my own gut reactions, my "red flags", that were trying to save me from what turned out to be the very worst decision of my life. I too have now done extensive research into the subject of psychopathy, and in fact attended one of Sandra's retreats for the victims of the aftermath of psychopaths. That retreat was a turning point for me and my recovery. Sandra's book is concise and extremely readable. She is organized and is a leading expert in her field. I believe every woman should read this book, and hand it down to every daughter. No one is immune. Up to four percent of the population truly has no conscience, and virtually anyone can be their target....
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lynette
Wish I could give it a zillion starts. Learn how your greatest strength in normal circumstances become your greatest weakness when dealing with people as pathologically damaged as psychopaths. The authors took research surveys from 75 women and came up with a victim profile that is spot on. There are quotes from victims as well as great advice on how to spot the warning signs and run run run if you encounter a psychopath.
Women who love psychopaths is a concise easy read too. Even if you haven't experienced the pain of having loved a psychopath it should be read by every woman, and man for that matter. There are also female psychopaths after all. Which brings me to the only issue I have with the book-it's written for women. When the title is considered it isn't really an issue but I still think it is good advice for anyone who may fall in love with a psychopath, regardless of the gender of the victim or the aggressor. It's fantastic research by the authors. Get a copy for someone you care about, especially if the person is looking for love. While at it, get a copy of Sandra Brown's other book: how to spot a dangerous man before you get involved. Both are necessary reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
josh vanderwoude
I give this book five stars as it helped me immensely. How did this happen to me? Why did I stay so long? How do I keep this from happening again? These and many other questions were answered in detail that assisted in my recovery.
I came to understand that I am not a bad person for being trapped by the cunning, deceptive, psychopath, like so many other highly successful women.
I spent years being deconstructed by a madman who mixed truth with lies & controlled me through my kindness, strong empathy and loyalty. Learning that some positive personality traits actually made me a `moving target' & worked against me, healed my `feeling so stupid' syndrome. Being in the company of other successful women validated me. Understanding that my excitement seeking personality is another trap, cautions me.
This book helped me reclaim my life. I read this book frequently and also use it as a reference sometimes. Thank you, Sandra Brown for giving labels to those things which I could neither define nor understand by myself in the world of the 'disordered' personality.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
delacey
WOMEN WHO LOVE PSYCHOPATHS: INSIDE THE RELATIONSHIPS OF INEVITABLE HARM is a must read! Not all people are good and we must recognize and avoid them at all costs. Ms. Brown is a leader in bringing about awareness of people . As the author of
"THE SECRET LIFE OF CAPTAIN X: MY LIFE WITH A PSYCHOPATH PILOT" Ms. Brown provided me with information, understanding and hope as I went through my recovery journey with a psychopath. A MUST READ!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
caleb trimble
Brown's book is one of the most important you'll find in this field. She really sets the new standard for introspection in psychopathic recovery, ultimately urging survivors to look within for their healing... To discover their own unique qualities, and perhaps what may have drawn them to a psychopath to begin with.

Certainly none of these traits are your "fault", but once you become aware of them, you will walk this world with a new kind of wisdom & self-respect. The research side of this is interesting as well, done with surveys of women instead of previous studies of prison inmates. This was important to me, considering that most psychopaths are not in prison (although they ought to be, if you ask me).

Highly recommended, 5 stars

Peace, author of Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kim rommerdahl
As a college educated daughter of a Harvard Grad, with two degrees to my name, I thought I would be able to spot dangerous men and avoid dating them. I found out the hard way that I was very mistaken. I came across Sandra L. Brown's book WOMEN WHO LOVE PSYCHOPATHS in 2009 after a relationship revealed to me the truth about a man I had been dating. I asked this particular man, "WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE ME?" He denied it of course that he had chosen me but I knew in my heart it was true. I found out it was indeed true with the help of WOMEN WHO LOVE PSYCHOPATHS.

THIS BOOK CHANGED MY LIFE! SUDDENLY IT ALL MADE PERFECT SENSE, what I had been living. I learned through Sandra's book about my supertraits of empathy and compassion etc, which were 97% higher than most women and that these traits were sought out by predatory pathological men. They have exquisite radar for seeking out those of us with these supertraits. I learned about their personality traits and how chameleonlike these people are. I learned how these pathological men fool even professionals with their charm and charisma. Suddenly all the pieces of the puzzle I had been living with for my entire adult life, fit into what I had been trying to understand through the eyes of normalcy. They would never fit by that standard. These men were not normal. They are however out there looking for women like you and I to prey on in much greater numbers than I ever imagined. One out of every 5 people has a pathological personality disorder. One in 25 people has no conscience.

I recommend this book to EVERY woman I know who has been in a dangerous relationship. We are not the crazy ones as our partners would have us believe. Despite the web they weave to hide the truth of who they are, a personality is known according to Sandra, by how these men think, feel, relate and behave. Know your enemy, know your vulnerabilites to attract them into your life and arm yourself with power in that knowledge. Think you will know better next time? Not likely with your supertraits and without reading this book. God bless you Sandra, your work is priceless!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david hartman
Any woman who has ever been involved with a mean, manipulative, callous man needs to read this book. For years I blamed myself and thought it was my fault that I allowed such a man into my life. Now I know the warning signs to look for: the prince charming who sweeps a woman off her feet is actually grooming her for total control. It only gets worse from there. My thanks to Sandra Brown for her work in this area. I hope every woman in this country gets the message and learns how to avoid being involved with a psychopath.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
fredric dorothy
Must read for every woman in a relationship that "doesn't make sense, is "weired" You guy is moody, sneeky, controlling.This book made me realize what the hell hit me!!!÷ So glad I'm out, only thing now is I can't believe I ever stayed as long as I did, book explains exactly why!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ethan cramer flood
I first read "How to Spot a Dangerous Man" which profoundly impacted me and dramatically jump-started my healing after leaving the sick, emotionally abusive narcisstic psychopath I was married to. But it was "Women Who Love Psychopaths" that really provided the knowledge and insight I needed to understand how I, an educated professional with a graduate degree and rewarding career, could end up in such a sick, destructive relationship. And even think I was in love. It helped me understand why I was attracted to him, why I stayed, what personality traits I possess that allowed me to become such easy prey, what happened to me, who I had become, and where I could find myself again. Sandra Brown systematically explains the physiological factors, contributions of neuroscience, genetic influence, psychological theory, and personality traits that all contribute to a pathological love relationship. She presents the information in a straight-forward, no-nonsense manner. But for the women who have lived in these relationships, it is both gut wrenching and affirming. It was such an accurate picture of the insanity that it made me sick as I read it and relived it in my mind (yet again), but yet knowing that other women have experienced it and that I am not alone, was somehow comforting. My greatest wish is that more therapists would read this body of work and truly understand this kind of twisted relationship.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ahan yatarkalkmaz
Sandra does an amazing job at defining the characteristics and thought process of a woman who finds herself attracted to psychopaths. The layers of complexity associated with the development of a mind able to sustain a relationship with a psychopath is neatly and clearly broken down and explained in this book. I especially love the overall message that it is not the "weak" woman that loves these men, but the truly powerful at heart. Who else could tolerate such nonsense?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amar pai
This book truly makes sense of it all. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Sandra L. Brown for her research and insight into the "inevitable harm" of being in a relationship with a psychopath. I read it twice within three days of purchasing it; it resounded so closely (eerily closely, and in specific detail) with my personal experiences that it was as if Sandra was writing my biography. This is the best book I have ever read, of any genre.

I was often bullied as a kid, and seemingly (to me) targeted as an adult by the same nefarious "type" of individual over and over again, in many of my relationships, including some friendships. Once this book defined and explained my super-traits in relation to these pathological people, it was a true "lightbulb moment". These super-traits are good, even highly desirable, but have also made me an interesting "challenge" of sorts to people with the sick desire to control, dominate, and manipulate others.

I am a believer that when people conduct themselves in accordance with their character, they are their most joyous. Thus, when you are forced to be someone other than who you truly are, or choose to pretend to be someone you are not, the true self that is suppressed will, sooner or later, make itself known anyway. The psychopath will change himself to whatever you desire in order to draw you in and establish his control; once he begins to show who he truly is and his control starts to squelch who you are, you, then, start losing your joy. The book shows so well how this dynamic works and why it is so incredibly damaging on so many levels to a psychopath's victims - and once you know where you are and how you got there, you have hope in finding your way out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily thompson
Sandra Brown's book and articles are hands down the most insightful of all the books and blogs on pscyho's and believe me I've read everything I could find. Since Jr. High over and over I've been targeted by mean girls and they only get crueler as they grow older. In hindsight there were always major red flags that I ignored or made excuses for and that's what they count on. Normal people don't say or do these things ever! Having studied and continue to study this wisdom I wonder why it isn't taught in school? There seems to be a conspiracy of psycho's to keep normal people in the dark. Sandra exposes the typical red flags and now it amazes me how glaringly obvious these psycho's are once you know what to beware of. Cain the first psychopath was given the "mark of cain" in Genesis. It seems to me that this mark is somehow involved with the red flags Sandra reveals. In the last several months I've spotted two over the top psychopaths that I would have been oblivous to prior to reading and rereading this Genius work. Sadly, though there are far more of them out there preying on us than the naive could possibly believe. As our Lord instructs "Be wise as serpents and innocent as Doves". This book is immensely valuable to gaining life saving wisdom.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
peggyl
I'd read all the literature about how to avoid abusive/psychopathic men and what red flags to watch out for but what I didn't understand was why I kept attracting them into my life. This book answered that question. Although this book is about women who attract psychopaths a lot of their personality traits also leave them vulnerable to attracting any abusive man so this is a good book for all women. Having just escaped from an 18 month relationship with a psychopath (by moving to a different city)I found this book extremely helpful in understanding and coming to accept that he just wasn't capable of love and why I struggled to let go of him despite all the damage he was causing me. The book isn't the most scientific and at times it quoted Wikipedia as a reference but for anyone who has been in a relationship with a psychopath it made sense of what otherwise seemed like total madness. The important lesson in the book is NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THAT THESE ARE RELATIONSHIPS OF INEVITABLE HARM. That was my mistake because I, like so many other women, was a strong, financially savvy, educated, career woman who let an uneducated psychopath drag me down into the gutter in a very short time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elizabeth donegia
I ordered this book after studying very helpful and in-depth threads about psychopaths in this world. It was on the Cassiopaea.org forum that this book was thoroughly recommended. The information resonated so much with me that I ordered the book asap.

As previous reviewers have stated it was like somebody actually understood what I had been going through. I was getting desperate at the time as I thought I was going crazy and had lost all my coping mechansisms by then. For me relating to nearly all the facts could well have saved my life! No kidding my partner ticked ALL the boxes in The Partner-Rated Assessment of Pathelogical Men - pages 90-91. He was 100% a psychopath! I could have chucked him out, I had that choice BUT I loved him and was caught up in his artful manipulative games - believe me they have many. BUT, 'I loved him soul deep and he understood me so well at the beginning, like we were soul-mates' as he said it 'it was all my fault that I was suffering so much and so full of anguish etc etc'. It was too bad to stay but too good to leave.

I am soooooooo grateful for all the research and all the answers I was given in Women who love psychopaths, in order to take my life back and be able to contribute back to society once again. No I am not a victim, nor am I co-dependent as other books said. I now have 'How to spot a dangerous man' too. Just so that I can recognise and listen to all my red flags - and more importantly ACT on them. Which I did just 3 weeks ago with a 'potential' boyfriend homing in. I spotted the traits of a permanent clinger!

This information should be in the public domain so people and children can be educated and protected from these soul destroying predators. After all they were doing such for paedophiles. Are they not psychopaths?!!
Thank you to everyone who is bringing this vital subject to the priority that it must to have on this planet now. I cannot recommend this book enough.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kevin loader
I purchased this book at a time when I believed I would lose my mind while in and after a very dysfunctional, chaotic relationship. I asked myself "why?" probably a million times and felt so stuck and so afraid. I entered therapy and read everything I could get my hands on to get the answers I needed as I thought I was going to lose my mind. It is no exaggeration when I write that this book saved my life - emotionally, spiritually and physically as I indeed was becoming ill. This book was the catalyst to recovery. If you want the answers as to what makes him/her tick, why he/she functions the way they do, why you are in such a relationship and what makes YOU tick, you must have this book. It will become your Bible to strength and recovery. You will read it over and over again. It is the only book that resonates with what you are really experiencing. Be prepared for a shocking and emotional read...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicole
I do love this book.. but DO NOT try to contact Sandra Brown's manager for any reason; she is one of the psychopaths the book is about. Passive-aggressive, unprofessional, and psychotic.. get the book, skip the seminars because if you sign up you will have to deal with that manager. She needs to be fired!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
letitia
This, along with the Lundy Bancroft book ("Why Does He Do That..."), are the two books I recommend most to my students when they come to me with woes about a psychopath in their lives. Sandra Brown has done something that others have not, and that is to administer questionnaires to collect data on the traits of those often "targeted" by psychopaths and identify their super-traits. If a psychopath has recently invaded your world and you are not familiar with Cluster B traits, then this book will give you a course on it -- but it goes further in letting you know what attracts them to you so that you can know what to watch for in the future. That is not to say that the author is critical of the target, because she is not; as a matter-of-fact, some of the super-traits are what we often label as most desirable ones to have in our society. This book will leave you feeling enlightened.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer welch
If you feel like you're losing your own grip on reality, take a good, hard look at the person whom you're closest to. Even though you sense that something is terribly "off" about a person/relationship, the insidious mayhem that psychopaths cause might be difficult to pinpoint. Their ability to subtly provoke twisted mind-games allows them to weave illogical loops of madness around unsuspecting and vulnerable victims. Essentially, they make you feel as though you're the one who is crazy! The mere fact that such hollow shells of human beings exist is disturbing, but must be acknowledged and dealt with accordingly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
leslye trujillo
This book was important in my healing from a harmful relationship with a disordered being. It has the unique approach of explaining why the target/victim stays with the psychopath even when the writing is on the wall and it's time to get out. It can generally be applied to men as well.

Until I read this book, I could not understand why I, an intelligent person, stayed with the liar for way too long. Sandra Brown clearly explains why, which made me feel a lot better.

If you're having trouble moving out or moving on, read this book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shining love
It was a joy to write this book because as a therapist who works with women coming out of relationships with narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths I see what incredible harm they have been through. This country lacks almost any approach at all to Public Psychopathy Education. It is no wonder people fall into these relationships over and over because they have no idea how to spot these types of disorders until they are hood-winked and emotional hostages of true predators.

I am honored to be able to offer the public a first hand approach at spotting them and also the **first ever** identification of the women's 'super traits' that are causing her to be attracted to, and tolerant of, these types of disorders. May this be the first break through of many to help the public understand these disorders, relationships and their victims.

[...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hilary
I'm kind of new to the whole psychology scene. A group of friends was passing this book around and sharing it and I was blown away by it. So far as psychology terms I'm quite novice but Brown and Leedom do a great job of presenting the facts in terms a novice can understand. It was a little difficult, being male and that I had to take a good look at myself in my own relationship(s). Regardless though of gender it brings a person into the microscope of studying the psychopath.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emali steward
Reading this book gave me understanding that was crucial to saving myself after 27 years of hell. It helped me to understand what pathology really is, and how prevalent it is in our society. I learned that many personalities of women can be victims of a psychopath, and why. This is knowledge that is needed and can be applied by both sexes, as women can be pathological too. Everyone can benefit from the information - if not for themselves, for their family and friends, to recognize, understand, support, and aid someone in a situation that is more dangerous, damaging, and commonplace than most would imagine.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gottfrid w nnberg
Wow! I needed this book 30 years ago as it would have changed the course of my entire life. You see, I got involved with a psychopath as a teenager. I spent 18 years of my life with him. We have been divorced for 9 years now and I FINALLY understand what it is that happened to me. I spent decades of my life trying to figure out what was wrong with him or me or our relationship that resulted in so much pain for me. This information has finally set me free and on the road to healing the deep emotional and psychological wounds that this man left me with. I hope that many women will read this book and be spared the torture that I lived with for too many years.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pushpa
The book delivers life-saving information and could restore your emotional health. If you've ever been in any type of harmful relationship, it would be a good idea to read this. If you've ever felt like you're losing your mind, like you're getting nowhere, or like you're living in a fog, this could give you the knowledge and skills you need to deliver yourself from a destructive relationship. I thoroughly recommend it to everyone.

Laurie Hill-Crosbie, M.A.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
araquen
I was fortunate to have read both versions of the book the latter being more detailed. I have recommended this book to so many women and it inspired me into my own journey as to why I had been a target for predatory men for most of my life. The checklist Sandra Provides is invaluable in figuring out why they choose certain types of women. This book was a life changer for me and enabled me to leave what was a highly dysfunctional toxic relationship not to mention writing myself. I have also learnt never to be conned by a psychopathic type again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andi burkholder
I'd already spent 1000's of dollars on books, individual therapy, and reading countless articles on line. This book was the final AHA!!! for me. Women Who Love Psychopaths gave me the answers to the questions I couldn't find anywhere else. The Intrusive thoughts, which were driving me nuts, were another form of his mind control of me. The information that helped me most was understanding that my best qualities were what set me up for the abuse! This book saved my mind. Literally. I wish this book was available 20 years ago, it would have made all the difference in my life. I recommended this book to my therapist, and to anyone I know that is in any type of abusive relationship because our own qualities should be guarded as treasures!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarahc
I just kept nodding my head as I was reading. It's an honest, easy to read, packed-full-of-information book which is invaluable for those of us who feel we may have fallen prey to a psychopath/Narcissist. It was spot on about his traits AND mine.

A book which helps validate our experience and get rid of the dregs of false belief that the crazy-making put into our heads. Thank you for this. If your therapist doesn't understand, give him or her this book to read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zane
A great book. Really helped me through a difficult time in my life. If this book is read in conjunction with Morton Bain's Psychopath!, a degree of perspective and understanding is achieved that can really help deal with these very difficult people.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer shepherd
As someone who survived a long marriage and relationship with a psychopath, this book really resonated with me. Brown and Leedom truly capture the dynamics between psychopaths and the people they are drawn to.

What I recommend is if you are divorcing one, be ready for frustration. This is where psychopaths excel, and thrive. Lawyers, guardian ad litems, don't care about YOU, or this issue. Document, document, document everything.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
behzad behroozan
The book is so true...but there has been no book on how to get out of this SPIDER WEB....after your money is gone and you have 4 kids.....PLEASE someone write a book to help the victims...but this book certainly spells it out ....what is a sociopath!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alysa
As a victim healing from a brief but emotionally and financially devastating marriage with a psychopath / sociopath, I've read and re-read this book for deeper understanding and clarity. You will never find a better overall resource in your journey.
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