The Psychology of Abusive/Predatory Relationships: How to Detach from and Avoid These Toxic Relationships

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In The Psychology of Abusive/Predatory Relationships author Miranda J. Houston assists women in increasing their insight and awareness regarding the dynamics of these toxic relationships. She shares valuable information on how women can set themselves free and avoid future drama.

This guide will assist women in the following areas:

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The Psychology of Abusive/Predatory Relationships: How to Detach from and Avoid These Toxic Relationships

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In The Psychology of Abusive/Predatory Relationships author Miranda J. Houston assists women in increasing their insight and awareness regarding the dynamics of these toxic relationships. She shares valuable information on how women can set themselves free and avoid future drama.

This guide will assist women in the following areas:

  • Distinguishing the difference between an abusive relationship and a predatory relationship.
  • Understanding the psyche of a predator
  • Identifying the two most vulnerable spots in a woman’s psyche.
  • Emotional manipulation techniques employed by predators to keep women stuck in predatory relationships.
  • Steps to assist women in repairing damaged instincts.
  • How to disarm and detach from the predator.
  • Changing one’s relationship blueprint.

Finally, The Psychology of Abusive/ Predatory Relationships assists women in discovering the gifts within themselves, determine what they want out of life and get on a path where they will be able to attract the kind of mate they desire.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475933963
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/27/2012
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.26 (d)

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The Psychology of Abusive/Predatory Relationships

How to Detach from and Avoid These Toxic Relationships
By Miranda J. Houston

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Miranda J. Houston
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4759-3396-3

Chapter One


All creatures must learn that there exist predators. Without this knowing, a woman will be unable to negotiate safely within her own forest without being devoured. To understand the predator is to become a mature animal that is not vulnerable out of naiveté, inexperience, or foolishness. —Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves, 1992

You cannot protect yourself from predators of the human kind if you don't know that they exist or who they are. Therefore, this chapter is dedicated to helping you understand who these predators are and how they function.

One important distinction to be made before moving on is the difference between a predator and an abuser. There is currently a lot of research in the area of domestic abuse, but little attention has been given to the issue of predatory relationships. The distinction between an abuser and predator can be found in the paragraphs to follow. As stated earlier, all predators are abusers, but not all abusers are predators.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),The State Of World Population: Ending Violence Against Women And Girls 2000 report found that "many cultures condone or at least tolerate a certain amount of violence against women." (UNFPA, The State Of World Population: Ending Violence Against Women And Girls 2000 pg. 26)

In some cultures, according to, The State Of World Population: Ending Violence Against Women And Girls 2000, men hold the belief that they have the right to beat their wives. Behaviors such as, "not obeying the husband, talking back, refusing sex, not having food ready on time, failing to care for the children or home, questioning the man about money or girlfriends or going somewhere without his permission" (The State Of World Population: Ending Violence Against Women And Girls, 2000 pg. 26) gave a man the right to beat his wife. Even in this great country of ours, men at one time in history took it as their right to beat their wives, and this was viewed as a family matter. People turned their heads; some women suffered in silence, while others normalized this behavior. Some women held the belief that if their spouses did not beat them, they did not love them; others took a beating as a matter of foreplay before sex.

It is not uncommon for young men who have witnessed their fathers beat their mothers to internalize this behavior as normal. As a result, they too beat their wives. Some men may have impulse control or anger issues, and although they know it is wrong to beat their wives, they may lose control and hit anyway. Some of these men may feel genuinely remorseful about what they've done.

In summary, an abuser may very well have a conscious and most likely has been influenced by what was once a societal norm. They may very well understand what they are doing is wrong, but due to conditioning early on in life or societal influences, they may struggle with how to change their behaviors. They may also have anger issues or problems with impulse control. These men may benefit from some type of therapeutic intervention.

A predator is someone without a conscience and whose sole intention is to exploit another human being for his own benefit. He has no attachment to the woman he holds captive as prey and sees her as "food for the kill." Predators roam the cities looking for vulnerable women, just as animals in the wild search for food. They are wired very differently from the average human being and do not have the capacity for genuine warmth, caring, and compassion for others. While predators are usually charming initially, they also can be physically abusive and use physical abuse as a means of control.

In summary, predators do not have a conscience and lack the capacity to genuinely love another human being. They see others as a means to an end or "food for the kill." They are wired very differently and most likely will not benefit from therapeutic interventions. They are likely to use the tools they gain in therapy as a weapon in future relationships.

According to Robert Hare in his book Without Conscience, there are as many as 2 million psychopaths (predators of the human kind) lurking among us in North America. He also estimates that there are as many psychopaths as there are schizophrenics (Hare, 1999 pg. 2).

Take heed, though, of this warning: predators are not out to have a relationship. They are out to take from you what they can. This includes your energy, your finances, your sexuality, and anything else of value that the predator deems necessary for his survival. Predators prey on those who they perceive as vulnerable, naïve, or weak. They study their environments and seem to have the natural ability to zone in on those with weakened defenses, such as the naïve and vulnerable female. They will pursue relentlessly until the prey capitulates. In the eyes of the predator this capitulation is viewed as an agreement by the prey to become his victim. The prey on the other hand believes she is entering into a genuine relationship.

In many instances, the predator preys on women who are the kind and nurturing type or they may be single, lonely or widowed. Predators feel that they are entitled to your resources as payment for services rendered. That service being some unmet need they perceive you as having.

One must come to an understanding of predators of the human kind in order to successfully navigate their environment without being snared. I will define them in four ways: psychological, religious/spiritual, folklore/fairy tales, and the animal kingdom. Some people may not be able to identify with the psychological definition of a predator, but the other definitions may resonate with some, moving their spirits and thereby facilitating learning. Again, you must come to know the psyche of a predator before you can protect yourself from one. The following is a smorgasbord of information, and you may choose the definition that speaks directly to you about the psyche of a predator.


Sigmund Freud, one of the earlier pioneers in the field of psychology, describes three stages of personality development: the id, ego, and superego. Below I offer a simple description of these terms.

At the id stage of development, the individual wants what he wants when he wants it with no regard for whom he steps on to get what he wants. An individual at this stage has not yet developed a conscience. At the ego stage of development, one learns a sense of right and wrong, cooperative living, and respect for others and makes decisions that are based on these principles. Finally, at the superego stage of development, one begins to respond to a higher calling. This person's values are in alignment with their spiritual and moral development. At this stage, one makes decisions based on what is ethically and morally correct.

That being said, I define a predator as a person without a conscience, who functions at the id level with a grossly underdeveloped ego, and who is totally void of a super ego. This also describes what used to be defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders as psychopathic personality disorder but is now defined as antisocial personality disorder. While it sounds a bit "spooky," the term psychopathic personality disorder is more likely to catch one's attention, whereas antisocial personality disorder could easily be misinterpreted by those outside of the field of psychology as someone who is introverted, timid, or shy. Therefore, for practical purposes, a predator as described in this book can also be described as a "psychopath."

It should be noted that the term psychopath has also been associated with serial killers, rapists, and sexual predators or pedophiles; however, not all psychopaths engage in these heinous crimes. In fact, many of them value their freedom and operate under the radar of the law to avoid imprisonment. They could be your boss or coworker, your next-door neighbor, your significant other, your daughter's boyfriend, or your son's girlfriend.

So while all predators are not violent killers, etc., they are toxic beings and can cause as much destruction in a woman's life as a tornado ripping through your neighborhood. They can wreak enough havoc in a woman's life that they leave her feeling traumatized, spiritually broken, and emotionally empty. Many women who have reached this state experience such intense emotional pain that they have considered suicide as their only way out. Unfortunately, some women succeed.

Predators will move on to the next victim without any remorse or guilt for the havoc that they have wrought. Predators lack the capacity to see others as human beings and value others no more than they value a bug or spider. For example, in his book Without Conscience, Hare illustrates how a predator might think: "Do I feel bad if I have hurt someone? Yeah, sometimes but mostly it's like uh ... (laughs) ... how did you feel the last time you squashed a bug?" (Hare, 1999 pg. 33)

During a television interview on the popular news show 48 Hours, defense expert Dr. Thomas Sachy explains "the science of insanity." He points out that the psychopath has a serious defect in the area of the brain that controls empathy, warmth, caring, and compassion. He further reports that if you view a brain scan of a normal individual who has been exposed to a situation that elicits one of the above emotional responses, you will see a lot of activity in the area of the brain that controls those feelings. However, if you view the brain of a predator (psychopath) under the same conditions, you will see little or no activity. In other words, predators are wired differently and lack the capacity to care for others. They are cold, aloof, and unable to empathize with other human beings. This is why it's easy for a psychopath to destroy another human being physically and/or emotionally.


Lucifer, also known as Satan, is described in biblical terms as a fallen angel who thought of himself as equal to Yahweh (God). He set out to overthrow Yahweh and was driven out of the heavens and stripped of his power. Lucifer is also described as the prince of the air and author of all evil. He roams the earth seeking power and destroying others to get it. His primary purpose is to kill, steal, and destroy.

Lucifer is a trickster and is skilled at misleading those who are vulnerable. He can mask himself as someone who can love and be trusted and thereby entices his prey to follow a path that will ultimately lead to their destruction. He strips them of their resources, which they need for their survival, and they are then left as dry bones. Lucifer, on the other hand, has gained a source of power and strength. He then quickly moves on to his next victim.

In Christianity and many other religions, people aspire to develop their personalities at the superego level. As stated earlier, Lucifer (as in the psychological definition of a predator) functions at the id level, has a grossly underdeveloped ego, and is totally void of a superego. Lucifer has no conscience and is usually depicted as a devil with a pitchfork.

Folklore/Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales and folklore are myths and tales that have been passed from one generation to the next for the purpose of teaching and learning. One such fairy tale is that of the failed magician. The failed magician is the apprentice of a wizard. In an attempt to become superior to the wizard, the apprentice (failed magician) ventures beyond his capacity. In the process, he fails and is thrown from the club, losing all of his gains. As an outcast, the failed magician has no energy and is unable to generate light which is necessary for his survival. His only salvation is to try and destroy others and steal their energy so he can create light.

Bluebeard is an example of a failed magician. In the Bluebeard story, Bluebeard was an outcast who had no energy or light. He was also a wealthy aristocrat and serial killer who was shunned and feared because he had a rough look and an ugly blue beard. Because of his status as a wealthy man, Bluebeard was able to take on multiple wives for the purpose of stealing their energy so he could generate light. Mysteriously, all of his wives disappeared. (The story of Bluebeard will be discussed in detail in chapter 4.)

The Animal Kingdom

Predators in the animal kingdom are the carnivores that rely upon meat to survive. They prey on other weak and vulnerable animals. This is how they have been designed; it is in their DNA. When predators in the animal kingdom go after prey, they see the prey as nothing more than "food for the kill," and they are not wired to have empathy for those they pursue as prey.

A lion will zone in on a herd of elephants or water buffalos and will seek out the most weak or vulnerable. This is usually a baby or one who is weakened by age or sickness. When the chase is on, the lion focuses on what it wants relentlessly and usually will not give up until he has successfully captured his prey. The prey will usually give in and signal to the predator that he is willing to become victim when it realizes its capture is inevitable.

It is what it is, and whether you see the predator as a psychopath, Lucifer, failed magician, or lion, in each form, he has the same goal—to drain you of your energy, resources, and anything else that he deems necessary for his survival.

There are several warning signs that may indicate you are dealing with a predator. The predominant feature of a predator is the lack of a conscience. If you are in a relationship with someone who can commit horrendous acts against others (things that would make a normal person feel remorseful or ashamed) with no remorse, shame, or guilt and who can inflict pain onto others as if they were nothing more than objects, you should see a therapist without delay, as you may very well be dealing with a predator. Below I have listed other features of a predator and some of the behaviors you may experience in a predatory relationship.

Take note also that the features listed below may exist in a non-predator as well; however, if you notice too many of these traits and the person does not appear to have a conscience, you should seek professional help immediately.

Isolation: In the animal kingdom when a predator hunts prey, it spots the most weak and vulnerable one of the herd and then sets out to separate it from the rest of the herd. This makes it easier for the predator to capture and hold on to its prey. A predator of the human kind will employ the same tactic, setting out to isolate and destroy important relationships so that your only source of information comes from him. This makes it easier for him to brainwash a woman and therefore control her mentally and emotionally.

Superficial charm: A predator has the ability to charm another just as a cat charms a bird right into its paws. He will stare at you as if you are the apple of his eye, making it difficult to resist his seduction. He may be good at making you laugh and telling convincing stories that capture your imagination. He knows exactly what you want to hear and will convince you that he can give you the world, even though he has no resources of his own.

Grandiose sense of self: A predator has to make himself believe that he is a powerful and important person in order to convince others of the same. He feels entitled to others' resources and will convince you that he is entitled. A predator has grand schemes as to how he will become rich and famous. Even though he lacks the motivation or skills to follow through, he will convince you to invest anyway, leaving you with no return on your investment.

Lack of remorse or guilt: A predator has no conscience; therefore, he doesn't feel any guilt or remorse for his behavior. Regardless of how much pain he may cause others, he will walk away without feeling a thing. When a lions hunts and kills a baby elephant, does it feel guilty? The same is true of a predator of the human kind.

Deceptive: A predator will lie and at the same time tell the truth, making it difficult to see through his acts of deception. He will tell you what you want to hear, sometimes even telling you the truth about his motives in a subtle, joking manner. When you confront him, he will tell you that he told you the truth, which he did. If you bought into what you wanted to hear, he will blame you and accuse you of not listening to him or taking him as a joke.

Manipulates others for self-interest: A predator is quite manipulative and can pull a trick out of his sleeve as quickly as a magician. He may go out of the front door while making you feel guilty over something he did and come in through the back door demanding an apology in the form of cash or some other valuable resource.


Excerpted from The Psychology of Abusive/Predatory Relationships by Miranda J. Houston Copyright © 2012 by Miranda J. Houston. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Chapter One: The Psyche of a Predator....................5
Chapter Two: The Naïve Woman and the Vulnerable Spots in a Woman's Psyche....................21
Chapter Three: The Dance between Predator and Prey....................27
Chapter Four: Disarming the Predator....................33
Chapter Five: The Power of a Woman's Instincts....................43
Chapter Six: Changing one's Relationship Blueprint....................67
Chapter Seven: While You Are Waiting....................75
Chapter Eight: Case Scenario....................83
Suggested Reading....................91
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  • Posted October 16, 2012


    This book is a must read, for every female. Rather you are a young lady, just entering into a relationship, or a mature woman, that has experienced an abusive relationship. The material in this book gives you vital information on detaching yourself from a relationship that is unhealthy for you, and more importantly, how to spot the tell, tell signs of a PREDATOR! Get this book for yourself or for the female in your life, you won't regret it!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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