No matter how promiscuous they actually are, they focus their energies on their most desirable targets.Yet, Carver cautions, this seemingly positive sign is, in fact, also negative.The cycle starts when they are intentionally hurtful and mean.
If they were consistently mean or violent, psychopaths wouldn’t be able to hold on to their partners. Carver observes, “The Loser cycles from mean to sweet and back again.Suddenly, the next day they become sweet, doing all those little things they did when you started dating.” The period of sweetness leads the partners of Losers to cling to the relationship in the misguided hope of finding what psychologist Susan Forward calls “the magic key” that will make the psychopath stay nice to them. The psychopath invariably cycles back to his real, nasty self.Over time, the meanness cycle escalates in severity and increases in duration.Such outbursts also train the partners to become gradually habituated to acts of violence. They also engage in long-term relationships, however, to gain more lasting control over certain more promising targets.It’s nearly impossible to control strong human beings who have clear boundaries and a healthy self-esteem.They may do so through overt criticism and by following them around when they meet with others, as Drew did to Stacy.Sometimes they opt for more subtle manipulation, such as by covertly turning the victim against her own family and friends (and vice versa).Stacy’s growing insecurity also placed her under Drew’s power to determine how she felt about herself. That’s precisely what psychopaths do to their targets.Losers isolate their partners from their friends, colleagues and families.The following list is an attempt to outline the characteristics of ‘The Loser’ and provide a manner in which women and men can identify potentially damaging relationships before they are themselves severely damaged emotionally or even physically.” () 1. “If he or she hits you, twists your arm, pulls your hair, kicks you, shoves you, or breaks your personal property even once, drop them,” Carver advises.As we’ve seen, Drew Peterson escalated the abuse of his partners.