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Psychopathy can run in families – a possible warning for you

Tattooed hands of a criminal handcuffedLovefraud recently received the following request in an email:

My husband’s psychopathy was never diagnosed as far as I know, but some years after we married and her second suicide attempt that I knew of, he told me his mother had been diagnosed as a psychopathic manic depressive.

Maybe you could give your readers ‘a heads up and how to’ on finding out as much as possible about the in-laws’ medical conditions before marriage, better yet sound them out before becoming emotionally entangled?

This is a great suggestion, so thank you to this Lovefraud reader.

Here’s my basic advice: Understand that psychopathy can run in families. So if you see or hear about bad or disturbing behavior by relatives of your romantic partner, pay attention.

Highly genetic

Psychopathy is highly genetic. What that means is that a person can be born with a predisposition, a genetic risk, to develop a psychopathic personality disorder.

There is, however, an interaction between nature and nurture. Whether a child with genetic risk actually develops the disorder may depend on the type of parenting that he or she receives, or other factors in the child’s environment.

Research has shown that harsh and inconsistent parenting is associated with a child developing callous and unemotional traits, which can be precursors to psychopathy.

Usually, if a child is genetically at risk, it’s because one or both of the parents has psychopathic traits. Psychopaths are notoriously bad parents. So the child gets not only bad genes, but bad parenting as well.

It’s a recipe for producing another psychopath. And it can happen over and over again in some families.

The psychopathic seduction

In the initial love-bombing phase of the relationship, psychopaths can shower you with attention and affection. This person seems to be your perfect mate, the one you’ve been waiting for all your life.

But if the person is actually disordered, the caring behavior is all a charade.

Some psychopaths are capable of keeping the charade going for a long time — years, even — as long as you are useful to them. Although you may sense that something is not right, you may not be able to pinpoint that the person is engaging in manipulation and deceit. You may doubt yourself, because your partner seems to want you so much.

The psychopath is engaging in impression management. But what about his or her family members?

Warning signs among the relatives

If you hear about any of the following regarding your partner’s blood relatives, pay attention:

• Criminal behavior
• Abusive behavior
• Domestic violence
• Any kind of violence
• Diagnosis of antisocial or narcissistic personality disorder, or psychopathy
• Multiple short-term romantic partners
• Scams or other financial crimes
• Drug or alcohol addictions
• Child molestation
• Prison sentences

Of course, it is very possible for a person with a normal ability to love and a conscience to be born into a family that has psychopaths. In fact, many Lovefraud readers, who are themselves empathetic, have realized that one or both of their parents are psychopaths.

But as the saying goes, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

If your partner’s relatives exhibit the traits or behaviors listed above, it may mean that your partner is also capable of the behavior, once the psychopathic mask slips.

Problem children

If your partner has kids, you should also pay close attention to how he or she treats them, and the behavior of the children.

If you see flashes of harsh, inconsistent or other types of bad parenting, they may be indications of your partner’s true nature, and not just that the kids were acting up that day.

And if the children are deceitful, manipulative or aggressive, well, those traits came from somewhere, either your partner’s family or the ex’s family.

Meeting the family

Some families of psychopathic individuals will tell you about their disturbing behavior — but some won’t.

The family may be actually clueless about the true nature of his or her personality, especially if they live far away.

Or, even worse, the family may know about antisocial or abusive behavior, and withhold that information. Sometimes the motivation may be innocent — they’re hoping you are the person who will get their relative straightened out.

Other times, however, they know all about the person’s deficiencies, but they want you to take the person off their hands. In my research for my book, Red Flags of Love Fraud, one woman told me that on her wedding day, the mother of the groom came up to her and said, “He’s your problem now.”

And if your partner is estranged from his or her family, or doesn’t allow you to meet the family, it could be another warning sign that he or she has something to hide.

Trust your instincts

So what do you do? How do you protect yourself from getting romatnically involved with a psychopath?

Here’s the best advice: Always trust your instincts. You have an internal warning system, and if you get a bad feeling about someone, pay attention.

So if you have a nagging suspicion, but haven’t yet figured out why, it might help to take a look at your partner’s relatives. Bad behavior somewhere on his or her family tree may help clarify your misgivings.

 



56 Comments on "Psychopathy can run in families – a possible warning for you"

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  1. sociopath6 says:

    On the other hand maybe she left you out of boredom. Some people realize that life is short as age sets in and may just embark on a quest to live life to the fullest. Sitting on the couch with you, munching potatoe chips and watching American Idol just does not compare to screwing a 28-old and doing drugs. Certainly a little more hazardous life-style she has taken up but in the end that is her business. Also in the end you are not going to get her back so instead of groping for a psychiatric/medical explanation why don’t you find someone on plentyoffish.com who is willing to fill that empty seat right next to you? Nobody is going to go and hunt her down for you and subdue her with neuroleptics so poor you isn’t alone at home. Keep the memories you had of her alive but look forward to tomorrow and plan and implement today how you ate going to get there is the advice of the sociopath. Nobody here can help you feel better about your loss other than yourself and that starts by pulling yourself together. Get a Harley and go smoke some pot! Maybe you can get yourself a 28 year old too. They’re not beyond your reach if you’re like me willing to trade an increase in body mass for youth. You heard me right, a lot of young and lonely women out there who would be happy even for a 50-year old long as he digs her and is cool. The Harley helps it too of course. Take care and get over it.



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    • princessleonor says:

      Lack of empathy and very rude remarks.Obviously you are not that educated in psychology, so I understand!



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    • jm_short says:

      Initial remarks show a total lack of bonding. Sociopaths can easily split. They have no concept of loyalty or devotion.

      “Screwing a 28 yr old and doing drugs,” exactly the people-are-objects mentality we recognize as “sociopathy.”

      BTW- plentyoffish recently connected one of our colleagues to a rapist.

      “Get a Harley- go smoke some pot,” obviously the way sociopath6 deals with life. Non sociopaths actually feel the pain of loss when it occurs.

      “Young, lonely women would be happy with a 50 year old,” lets you know he’d take whatever he could get. Respect, caring, trust and love have nothing to do with his hook-ups.

      Great example of how sociopaths look at others. Thanks for leaving this in plain sight, Donna. Quite revealing!



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      • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

        yes. I agree with your comments, jm_short.
        “total lack of bonding….can easily split…no concept of loyalty or devotion.”

        People question whether the sociopath in their life would murder… and then conclude they haven’t yet so that means they’re not really a sociopath.

        BUT…Sociopath6 clearly reveals their mindset, that Murder might Not happen but they are completely capable of it… which means it’s ALWAYS a possibility, and without warning. Then the news reports it as “somebody snapped”.

        It’s not whether they’ve murdered or not that matters. It that they are CAPABLE of it, and they are… ALWAYS.



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      • dixiebelle58 says:

        Thank you well said!



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    • Escapefor1 says:

      Yes, thank you. I always appreciate hearing from a sociopath who is proud of his point of view. It helps us understand the mindset.



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    • dixiebelle58 says:

      you are a psychopath.get over yourself!



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  2. sociopath6 says:

    Ah yes indeed it is all genetic isn’t it… a little mutation in say COMT and we are not breaking down dopamine fast enough .. MAO gene is bent out of a shape a little bit so serotonin is out of whack and it is all hereditary. And so we return full circle to eugenics again. What will it be? Forced abortions and sterilization like in Indiana and Iowa or the gas chamber a la the Nazi T4 extermination program for the unfit? Or perhaps will you let them vegetate in a haze of drugs for their then relatively short lives because you are so afraid of them? You are an interesting specimen, Andersen, making money off of what you fear I have to congratulate you on that. Or perhaps you are a psychopath yourself, for what better way to tap into victims than to attract those who are prone to abuse? Many of the victims here have a history of falling for abusers one time after the other.



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  3. I am allowing the above comments to stand for the time being as they are good indications of the thought process that we are dealing with. It is important that we understand this.



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  4. nomorehurts says:

    This is interesting to me. Spath#2 has TERRIBLE relations with his children ages 12-30. I suspect b/c he used them as window dressing to get wives #2, #3, and #4 and then discarded when became teenagers…both daughters moved to live with their mom when they were old enough to legally get out from under his thumb. 12 yo son is a mess. Lives locally, but dad (spath#2) conveniently blames step-father and mother for his behavior.

    I feel sorry for his daughters as they are acting the same way he did, moving from man to man, having children out of wedlock and living (and raising his grandchildren) barely above the poverty level. And it looks like only son (the namesake for which he is so proud) is a carbon copy of dad.

    I pity his children and his children’s children. I’m so grateful my kids only had superficial contact with him.

    nomorehurts



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  5. stronginthecity says:

    When I met the spaths mother, I knew right away.
    I’m talking 30 seconds and I was certain that the apple was still attached to the tree.
    This woman who had 7 children and looked 20 years older than her age bragged about how beautiful she is/was.

    Until this meeting I already met the brothers and heard stories of the deceased father who had at least one child out of wedlock was the culprit heck both parents are most likely spaths.
    Going forward I listen when I meet new people and I want to meet family members.
    SITC



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