Exploring relationships with partners devoid of morals, empathy, honesty and a conscience

Getting Hurt Again and Again? | Abusive Relationships [Part I]

Young woman suffering from a severe depression (very harsh light

Getting Hurt Again and Again?

Morality & Six Unsaid Rules of Emotional Abusers

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As human beings we have a sense of what is right and wrong – what is fair. This is a component of morality. Those involved in romantic relationships with individuals with abusive personalities, such as psychopathy or narcissism, understand what it feels like to be treated unfairly. They understand that a different set of rules are simultaneously at play at all times. This reality is a common theme of many abusive intimate relationships.

The rules the non-disordered partner must adhere to requires they are hypersensitive to the abuser’s needs and cater to his wants and mode of functioning. Even at the expense of self.

The mate of a psychopath understands that this treatment is not a two way street. He or she will never be treated with the same consistent sensitivity or fairness. We share the unspoken relationship rules of many psychopaths and narcissists in this video.

These individuals treat others with little regard, feel unaccountable to their fellow man, and are unresponsive to the pain of others, even if they caused it. Many with psychopathy can simultaneously preach their values and demonstrate a sanctimonious attitude, despite poor (immoral) behavior.

However, their intimate partner will be treated poorly if she/he insists upon equal treatment. Making such requests for compassion could result in consequences. Although this sounds completely unfair and abusive, it is an unfortunate reality within many psychopathic and/ or narcissistic love relationships.

Many have wondered if the reason for such offensive and callous behavior lies in an inability to understand good behavior from bad behavior,

perhaps they do not know right from wrong.”

Individuals with psychopathy absolutely understand the difference between right and wrong. They are not psychotic, intellectually challenged or confused.

The key to some of their offensive and immoral behavior is that they cannot feel anything for their victims or others in general. They absolutely do understand that they did something bad, however if the bad behavior pleases them they will move forward with the act.

Given that individuals with psychopathy do not care about others and have a dysfunctional system of morality, they will rarely feel they have done anything wrong – even if they have hurt someone severely.

They understand they have done a bad thing, however the emotional tone that accompanies such behavior is missing for them. There is no impact upon them.

They will not lose sleep over the pain they caused another. Their care-based morality is extremely deficient.

Their problems with morality is likely hard-wired … about their brain

Human BrainResearcher’s suspect that one of the reasons for their immoral behavior is because a region of the brain called the prefrontal cortex is dysfunctional. Specifically, a certain portion called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (see figure) does not function the way it should (Koenigs, 2012).

The interconnections of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to other areas of the brain are weak and this should not be. This is a huge problem and is likely associated with their immorality and lack of concern for others.

For the non-psychopathic partner who is repeatedly hurt and disrespected, she might try to stick it out, try to help him, or push for promises from him to change. However, those tactics do not change a dysfunctional ventromedial prefrontal cortex and poor interconnections within the brain. Other forms of intervention are necessary.

Let’s look at a vignette of two relationships Part II

• Koenigs, M. (2012). The Role of Prefrontal Cortex in Psychopathy. Reviews in Neuroscience. Vol. 23(3): 253–262.

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