What can you do if someone dear to you is showing signs of being a psychopath?

The question was just posed to me on Quora.com, so I thought I would share my response with those of you who follow this blog.

If you are starting to see signs of psychopathy in someone you once considered “dear”, the reality is that you are simply now starting to see the truth… that they are someone who was different than you had allowed yourself to believe. 
The likelihood is that you have either begun to implement effective boundaries with the selfish person, or your usefulness to him/her has run its course, and they are moving on to other more useful victims.
The reality is psychopaths are masters of manipulation. As such, they fool people into believing that they are something very different… at least at first. The sophisticated “white collar psychopath” is the great pretender… a master of disguise… who will play the part as long as they are benefitting from using others. 
But, once someone starts to awaken to the inequity of the “relationship,” to the “rules of engagement” (everything will be fine as long as you do all the giving, allow them to use you, and never require or expect anything to be reciprocated), once you begin to establish boundaries (limits on their behavior and attitudes), 
the mask will come off… and the truth of who it is you’ve been dealing with will finally emerge. 
Simply put, it is not they who are starting to show signs of being a psychopath. Instead, you are starting to finally awakening to see them for who they were all along. What should you do about this revelation? 
Grieve the loss of what you thought was real, properly work through the anger of how much you were manipulated all these years, and turn that anger into resolve, as manifested in firm boundaries.
In marriage, what does that look like. I recommend separating, as that will help prepare you for whatever happens… and, will likely start to help you experience some peace for the first time in a long time, as the psychopath is a master at creating drama and taking people on guilt trips. As Proverbs 22:10 says, “Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too. Quarrels and insults will disappear.” (NLT). Distance and space… implemented on your terms… is a must if you are to be set free from the grip the psychopath already has on you. Anything short of that will be continuing to tolerate a fool and casting your pearls before swine. 
When implementing boundaries with someone who is more selfish than you had wanted to admit… who you are beginning to suspect is a Psychopath (someone without any signs of conscience, remorse, or empathy), when you are finally willing to become honest (which is something you’ve likely been avoiding for some time, as a part of you has sensed that if you were to become honest with the person, the truth would manifest itself in short order), a key thing to remember is that you are not called to be “nice” (you won’t find that listed among the fruits of the Spirit Galatians 5:22–23), but wise and firm… and not to tolerate or put up with fools who would abuse you [check out the kinds of behaviors in 2 Corinthians 11:19–21 which describe a pig-headed fool/sophisticated psychopath… the kind you shouldn’t tolerate]). Why? Because they are calculating and tactical wolves in sheep’s clothing, and will only continue to “bleed you dry” and harm in one way or another you, unless and until you say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

What can you likely expect when you finally speak the truth in a reasonable fashion (polite but firm) to such a profoundly adept and sophisticated selfish person, letting your “yes” be yes, and your “No” be no? Well, a part of you likely knows the answer to that, and that is why, up to this point, you haven’t been willing to be 100% honest with the selfish person. There is a 99.9% chance of the person leaving or walking out of the relationship (it’s likely 100%, but I am just being open to the slightest of possibilities that the person suddenly become truly broken and contrite, and makes serious changes that are noticeable to everyone). What will that mean? Simply that you saw what was under the surface all along, and that they never intended to do anything other than what they did all along… take you for all you were worth, until they used you for all you were worth, or until you caught on and said, “Enough.” 
So, simply put… let’ em go.


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