Physcopaths talk about their exes a lot—more than any healthy individual should with a new romantic partner. After first making you feel like the only person in the world, they quickly dive into pity stories about their nasty ex who’s so very jealous of you and your passionate new relationship. Because these stories are completely invented & manufactured, they can and absolutely will change on a whim. One day their ex is bipolar, the next day they’re great friends, and then finally they’re crazy and hysterical.But what do all of these labels really mean? What purpose do they serve?
“My ex is bipolar”
Name-calling someone “bipolar” is like name-calling someone “diabetic”. It doesn’t even make sense. BPD is a crippling disorder with a specific set of symptoms that are a bit more complicated than “mood swings that I happen to dislike”. If you suddenly became “bipolar” after a relationship with someone, and you’ve never been bipolar before, then you might want to think twice before accepting the diagnosis—especially if that diagnosis came from your ex.
The thing about BPD is that it’s actually a perfect label for the psychopath’s ideal victim. If you’re naturally cheerful and optimistic, these traits become your “mania”. Meanwhile, your valid reactions to your partner’s abuse become the “depression”. During the idealize phase, when the psychopath was charming & mirrored your entire personality, you were walking on sunshine. Life was amazing. But then they began criticizing you and cheating on you, so you became upset and cried. They gave you the silent treatment, all the while dangling new & former lovers in your face. Did this upset you? Excellent. Viola, you’re bipolar! Because that’s definitely how mental illness works.
This is The Emotional Abuser’s Trap, and no empathetic person would ever callously refer to their ex as “bipolar” to a new partner if they actually believed that to be the truth. It horrifies me to think about the number of victims who falsely diagnose themselves based on volatile emotions that were intentionally provoked by someone else. Most survivors find that it takes 1-2 years for their moods to fully re-stabilize. Until that point, please be very reserved in deciding what’s wrong with you. There’s a good chance you just have a bad case of the “fell in love with a butthead” blues. It’s also worth learning about your personality type, to discover more about how your emotions work!
Note: Millions of adults truly do suffer from bipolar disorder. If you’re genuinely concerned about your mental health, please seek the opinion of a professional, not an ex partner whose behavior landed you on a site called PsychopathFree.com.
“My ex is crazy and hysterical”
And it’s definitely not worth thinking about how they came to be that way!
Seriously though, lets think about it. This insult implies one of two things:
1) Their ex was always crazy and hysterical, and for some reason, they still decided to date that person. Seems unhealthy, no?
2) Something changed during the relationship to make the ex that way. What exactly could it be? Did they just snap one day, for absolutely no reason at all? Or did it maybe have something to do with the constant triangulation, lying, manipulating, and criticizing? If someone is sleeping with you and whispering into your ear about how “crazy” their current partner is, you should take a step back and really rethink that one.
“Crazy” and “Hysterical” are words of invalidation, minimization, and dismissal. They imply that any reaction you display is over-the-top. This encourages you to stop reacting, and thereby stop standing up for yourself. By making you question your own sanity, the psychopath is able to take the spotlight away from their own abusive behavior. The new victim shakes their head with sympathy, unknowingly taking their place in the queue as “Crazy #2” (or 3 or 4 or 100)
“My ex is bitter”
What the heck. Seriously, what does this even mean? It’s like punching someone in the face and then saying “you’re bitter”. Well, yeah—they’re bitter, because you punched them in the face. Does saying “you’re bitter” somehow make their bitterness inappropriate?
Again, it’s about minimization and dismissal. After their abuse, lying, and mind games, they simply expect you to shut up and/or grovel. That’s it. If you display any signs of anger or disbelief, you’re bitter. They commiserate with their new partner about your childish grudge-holding, neglecting to mention all of the details about why you might be bitter in the first place.
This also provides them with the perfect opportunity to be the “better person” after your relationship comes crashing down.
“My ex is jealous of us and still in love with me”
First of all, who brags about that? It’s so off-putting, and even if it’s true, this sort of pigheaded arrogance should be avoided in any sort of romantic endeavor.
Digging deeper, we should also examine why this person is jealous and still in love with them. Psychopaths typically flaunt their new victims on display for the whole world to see, mere days after their previous relationship ended. You know what that does? Gasp, it creates jealousy.
Psychopaths manufacture toxic, desperate love. And the thing about this sort of idealize/devalue passion is that it’s long-lasting and obsessive. Psychopaths groom others to spend every waking moment thinking about them, and then they tear it all away without a moment’s notice. Because psychopaths are eternally bored and incapable of human bonding, this transition is quite easy for them. But to a normal, healthy individual, it’s devastating. You send desperate texts in an attempt to fix everything, unaware that they’re using these frantic communications as “proof” of your insanity to garner sympathy from their next victim. It leaves you with a broken heart, crippling insecurities, a need to defend yourself, feelings of inferiority, and a million unanswered questions. This is why it takes so long to get over a psychopath.These claims of jealousy also serve to make their new target feel special—as if they are the chosen one among the psychopath’s many admirers. The psychopath will gladly keep obedient exes strung along to make themselves seem in high-demand at all times.
But my ex really was awful!
Everyone has horror stories about their exes. That’s perfectly normal. What’s not normal is when an ex’s name comes up so frequently in a new relationship that you begin to feel like they’re actually a part of your relationship. It’s also not normal to trash an ex, and then hang out with them on a daily basis. Trust your intuition, and remember that psychopaths always use exes as tools for triangulation and persuasion.
The bottom line is this: anyone who speaks so regularly and so negatively about their ex is—at best—not at all ready for a romantic relationship. But at worst, this person is manipulating your every thought, pitting you against people you’ve never even met. And you can be assured that they’ll soon be speaking the exact same way about you to every other pawn in their never-ending game of chess.