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BOOK REVIEW: How to Spot a Dangerous Man

Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader:

I have been involved with a man for the past seven years. We don’t live together but he has stayed at my home on and off. Anything rotten in a relationship I have had to deal with–lies, cheating, humiliation, emotional abuse and financial, not that he took money from me but sponged off a single mother. This man makes good money and has never made a commitment to anyone, lots of broken promises and excuses. He has a problem with breaking the connection with me, always trying to get back in and regain his supply. I believe this man is a psychopath/narcissist. I have reverted to just trying to remain friends but I don’t think for him this is possible. He always tries to get back in. My married ex was also a psychopath and I was involved with another man, he was also a psychopath. How can we change this–always attracting the same?

It is not possible to remain friends with a sociopath (or psychopath or narcissist). The only way to deal with them is not to deal with them. No contact. At all.

But this letter asks a more important question, “How can we change this–always attracting the same?”

How to Spot a Dangerous Man

The first step in avoiding involvement with a sociopath is knowing that they are out there. If you’re reading Lovefraud, you’ve probably already had a painful run-in with a sociopath and are well aware that they exist.

The next step is to figure out why you allowed a sociopath into your life. For women who have been victimized, I suggest reading How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved, by Sandra L. Brown, M.A.

Brown describes eight types of dangerous men—men with mental illnesses and personality disorders that cannot be rehabilitated. Lovefraud readers will recognize most of the types as various shades of sociopaths. Brown describes their behavior, provides case studies of women who were involved with them, and includes red-alert behavior checklists. If you see the behaviors on the list, you should end the relationship.

Overriding our warning system

But many Lovefraud readers have intuitively known there was something wrong in a relationship, yet have had difficulty ending it. This is where Brown’s book will be extremely helpful.

Every woman, Brown says, has an internal system of red flags and red alerts that act as a warning system that someone is dangerous. Unfortunately, many of us ignore the signals.

“Somewhere between childhood and adulthood we have allowed many of our built-in alarm systems to become dismantled. Years of overriding internal warnings with reasons to move ahead anyway, combined with the ability to numb the feelings triggered by our own system’s messages, have deadened many women to the symptoms of being in a dangerous relationship. This perilous cycle can lead women to date four or five dangerous men before they begin to notice the spiritual, emotional and physical messages they have been ignoring.”

Brown then explains why women ignore the signals. Sometimes it is because of society’s expectations that it’s more important for women to be polite than to question the behavior of men. Or it’s more important for women to accept everyone unconditionally than to expect people to prove themselves as trustworthy. Or it’s more important to love the unlovable than to realize it’s not safe to love everyone. Or that it’s more important to believe everyone can change than to accept that some people can’t.

Dangerous Man Workbook

So how does all this apply to you? How do you figure out where you’ve been making mistakes? To answer these questions for yourself, I suggest that you also get the How to Spot a Dangerous Man Workbook.

The workbook prints lists of universal red flags—check the ones that you’ve experienced. It lists family traditions and early conditioning—check what you’ve been taught. And it lists loopholes for downplaying the dangerous behavior of men—check the excuses you’ve used.

In the next section of the workbook, you answer questions about your own experiences with dangerous men. How did you meet? Were they similar to your father or another influential relative? What were your first red flags?

If you honestly fill out the workbook, you’ll see your patterns and where you need to change. Because changing your expectations, enforcing your personal boundaries and realizing that you deserve better are required for you to stop attracting sociopaths.

Both books are available on Amazon.com:

How to Spot a Dangerous Man Before You Get Involved
How to Spot a Dangerous Man Workbook



198 Comments on "BOOK REVIEW: How to Spot a Dangerous Man"

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  1. Wini says:

    Erin, I just read your Saturday post. I love being by water too. That’s a great idea taking your family and dog walking near the water. I think it takes us a long time to get out among others again because of the severity of our injuries. If we were in traction in a hospital bed, people would visualize our injuries. Because our injuries are not visual, people who haven’t been through what we endured … can’t quit comprehend all of it. They think they know, but unless they go through it, they really don’t grasp the depth of all the levels it hits us on … especially the level of personal safety among others. I think that’s what I detested the most, was loosing that trust in others for simple situations (e.g., being in a bank line just doing my banking). For years after my violation I would look around to see if a Spath was coming in to rob the bank.

    I saw something this past Saturday … at a friend’s picnic. I saw pain on so many men’s faces. Of course, overhearing or personally listening to their stories of divorces (years ago) from former wives who took them for everything and left them high and dry with no reason but simply took off with another man … I said one sentence to them “Oh, don’t blame yourself, you know she doesn’t know what love is and therefore, can’t love”. That was it. I didn’t get into detail and overwhelm them with what we’ve learned on this site. The picnic went on for hours … around 11:00 p.m. some of those men made their way over to me in the kitchen (while helping my friend clean up) … and said to me … you made total sense to me. How in the world did you come up with that fact? I just said, it’s not your fault. Stop blaming yourself for your Ex’s bad behavior.

    Hey, something good had to come out of all this pain. It’s true though, once you go through this type of devastation, there is a certain look on our faces and when you see another who’s endured the same pain, it’s like looking in the mirror. Then we can reach out and help another member of our society of LFers.

    Peace.



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  2. Rosa says:

    Henry:

    I agree with Erin Brock in that this could be a great business opportunity for you.

    Single, 75, rich, building a new house, AND he likes you.

    This new house is going need some trees, shrubs, and flowers to finish it off, and make it beautiful.

    Give him your business card, and tell him you would love an opportunity to bid on the project.

    Keep it strictly business, though….because it sounds like he’s hot4U.



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  3. ErinBrock says:

    Hey Rosa….
    Maybe you just gave Hens an idea for his new, shiny Tundra’s licence plates…..
    Hot4U!

    I can see it now hens…….Flaunt it baby!!!

    Like it!!!!



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  4. ErinBrock says:

    Wini:
    Your post made me ponder….
    The guys you met at that party……still pissed off from their (years ago) divorces and the ex taking everything etc….
    WELL……One of those men could have been my ex spath.
    I am sure he is one of the men you ‘met’…..and this is his story…..the story of being victimized by the biatch of an ex, who went crazy and ‘stole’ everything , including his kids….she poisened my kids against me yadayada. Everything I worked for I lost to that biatch.

    NOW…..how do we know if these men were the victim OR the PERP.

    I am certain all the folks my spath comes into contact with think he was downtrodden, robbed and destroyed by his biatch ex wife and HE is the victim.

    I am certain he doesn’t share the real facts with them…..like he kept them secret from his attorney……he will maintain victim status to draw folks in.

    IF he was one of those men at your party, the advice you gave them would not be accurate AND provide him another excuse for his list.

    SO……In that situation, I remain silent. Most men I meet who are divorced, dont have anything else to say, but ‘I was robbed’ type stories to tell of their ex……and I know not ALL of them are honest about it…..and i’m thinking very few are telling the real truth……most re-write history to become a victim to suck peeps in to their pity ploy!

    WHY are they still talking about it years later at a party?



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  5. sistersister says:

    Famous last words, from above:

    “Sometimes the first clue that you have a problem with them is when people come up to you and ask how you could possibly be so cruel to them.”

    Ironically, your first clue is when somebody’s telling you there is no clue. That other person is fine!

    I have experienced this so many times, especially in group situations, that I react as with a reflex. Gone in 60 seconds. The whole group loves somebody; the only one she/he has a problem with is ME.

    So there must be a problem with me. Right.

    Talking about “gaslighting.” The whole world says you’re nuts.



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  6. OxDrover says:

    Dear Sister,

    AH yes!!!! My P son wrote the trojan horse P that he got along with everyone in the the family, and I didn’t so therefore the problem had to be ME!@!!!!! ha ha ha



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  7. hens says:

    ErinB and Rosa He aint that rich…~!



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  8. Buttons says:

    {{{{{HOPEFORJOY}}}}} I wish I could clap my hands and either give you an easy answer, or wish away your situation. But, there IS no easy answer. And, if wishes were fishes, world hunger would not be an issue.

    Your soon-to-be-ex is making you feel guilty. Make a list of what you SHOULD be feeling guilty about. Should you be feeling guilty for any of the following reasons:
    * taking blame to keep the peace
    * tolerating his perversions as “acceptable” to make it “work”
    * enduring emotional neglect
    * enduring the withold/reward tactics
    * carrying the weight of the relationship on your shoulders, alone
    * all of the above
    * none of the above

    “For once he has been trying?” ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? It takes for a threat of divorce for him to finally “TRY?!?!” Oh, the ex spath did the same thing – went to a few marriage counseling sessions, and realized that he couldn’t continue the facade and went back to his patterns with a vengeance.

    Finally listened to you when you told him that you didn’t want him to touch you? FINALLY???? Remember the past – the very recent past, Hope. Recollect the sick, twisted, warped games that he played with you up until the immediate past. How many years? And, now – suddenly – he’s had a personal epiphany? NO…..NO……and, NO he hasn’t. He’s playing “The Game” of keep-away. Let’s keep Hope away from recollecting his past, predictable patterns of behavior, toss out the bone of possibilities, and reel in that gaping fish!

    Hope, at the end, it was surreal. When I moved out into my own place, the ex spath actually helped me move. But, not before he went through my 5-6 boxes of belongings and extracted everything that he had once given me as a gift. “I bought this – it’s mine,” and so forth. Hell, I didn’t even WANT a Waterford crystal mantle clock, EVER, but he purchased it on an account as a gift for me using MY name! Oh, take it back, you jackass! Take all of it – it’s just Things, and I’m saving my soul from you. A fair trade, in my eyes.

    Then, after I had been gone for a couple of months and his first two internet fish had flopped dead on him, he said to me (and, I quote), “Just come back home. Whatever has happened will remain in the past. Just come home.” Remain in the past? My dear god, but he blamed me for generating doctors’ bills when I broke my back, over and over, again. I can remember him clearly screaming at me, “YOUR bills are KILLING us!”

    No, Hope. The soon-to-be-ex is not sad in the way that you or I or OxD or EB or One_step or any other member of this site feels sadness. It’s a ploy. It’s a facade. It’s a 100% fabricated ACT. He’s “acting” sad because that’s what he believes is appropriate. When that doesn’t work, he’ll resort to threats, insults, getting mean.

    Throw that guilt back in his face, Hope. You have NOTHING to feel guilty about. You haven’t failed – you did everything short of selling your own soul to make it work. You are saving your very soul and your daughters’.

    I’ll walk beside you along with everyone else on this site, Hope. But, you have to take those steps on your healing path under your own power. And, the most important steps for you to take are securing your safety and security by getting that Thing out of your home and your life.

    Brightest blessings to you, dear heart. Remember that you are valued, beautiful, and so very, very important to many, many people.



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  9. OxDrover says:

    Dear Henry, Well maybe he could still hire you to seed his lawn and put in some shrubs…wouldn’t hurt to give him your business card, who knows, he might break a leg and need some professional help on his place. Doesn’t hurt to make friends any way even if you aren’t “interested” in him. Just set a boundary if he makes a pass and tell him, “Hey, let’s just be friends, okay? I’m not available right now.” He doesn’t know if you have a BF or not.



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