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Is Your Husband a Psychopath? A Quiz

Updated on December 16, 2011

How to tell if your husband or partner might be a psychopath.

A psychopath is a person without guilt, empathy, or respect for others. Contrary to what we see in slasher movies, psychopathic individuals are rarely insane or even unusual in any obvious way. Most of them are not serial killers; many are not violent at all. If your husband, boyfriend or partner has had chronic difficulties obeying the law... if he lies or cheats on you over and over... if he is manipulative and makes you feel like his mistakes are your fault... he might be a psychopath. Take the quiz below to find out more.

Is He a Psychopath? About the Quiz

The more "Yes" answers you have on this quiz, the more likely it is that your husband or partner is a psychopath. If you score 50% or higher, there is probably reason for you to be concerned about your safety.

Please disregard the analysis at the end about "correct" answers; this is part of how the quiz is coded, but there are no correct or incorrect responses. The purpose of the quiz is to help you identify behavior patterns and traits that could indicate a psychopathic personality.

Important:

If you answer "yes" to either of the questions about your husband putting you or your children in danger (through reckless behavior and/or physical or sexual abuse), it is important for you to reach out to someone for help. His behavior is unacceptable and could cost you your life.

Please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Disclaimer

I am not an expert on psychopaths.

I'm in the criminal justice field and have studied and worked with prison inmates. Most of these inmates were not psychopathic. I am not qualified to diagnose psychopathic or antisocial personality disorder. The quiz on this page should not be taken as a definite indication that your husband or significant other is or is not a psychopath.

Also, I focus here on husbands and male partners because most people with antisocial and psychopathic personalities are men. Female psychopaths, although less common, are equally toxic in relationships. They have many of the same dysfunctional personality traits as antisocial men, but are less likely to be physically violent towards their partners.

Psychopathic Personalities: Sound familiar? - Have you met someone like this?

Even if you have never been in a romantic relationship with a psychopath, at some point in your life you may have encountered someone with these personality traits. But don't be too quick to judge -- there are other problems, such as drug addiction and impulse control disorders, that can look similar to psychopathy.

Have you ever known a psychopath?

See results

Source Book: "Without Conscience"

This book is by Dr. Robert Hare, the psychiatrist who designed the Psychopathy Checklist (Revised), a test to measure psychopathic personality traits in adults. He has also written the Psychopathy Checklist -- Youth Version for use with children and teens. The quiz above is loosely based on the material in Hare's book. I highly recommend it if you want to learn more about the psychopathic personality.

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us
Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

A fascinating, engaging read for anyone interested in deviant behavior, criminal psychology, or philosophical questions about human evil. If you found this page because you are concerned that your husband may be a psychopath, Hare's book may help you figure out what's going on with your husband and what you need to do to keep yourself and your children safe.

 

Please comment on the quiz, Dr. Hare's book on psychopaths, or your own personal experience with someone who had a psychopathic personality. What advice would you give to someone who believes they may be in a relationship with a psychopath?

Photo credits:
Introduction - Richard Carter. Disclaimer - tms. About the psychopath quiz - Adam Crowe.

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    • profile image

      Michael 12 months ago

      Where's the quiz?

    • profile image

      Jules 18 months ago

      I am a victim of psychopathic and narcissistic relationships, and nothing is more important to me than sharing my story if it can help another woman. Since discovering what a psychopath is, I can’t ignore that something about my character attracts me to this type of man and him to me. This tells me there are issues in my own personality that I need to address and work on, and not necessarily of a codependent nature. This will be necessary if I hope to have a healthy relationships in the future. Prior to knowing my husband was a psychopath, I tried to leave him 6 times, even moving across country to get away from him. Then if you can believe it, I sent him a ticket to come and join me! The relationship with the psychopath is insidious, crazy making, exhausting, demeaning, agonizing and incomprehensible. To learn now that it was all just a game to him is beyond demoralizing but after all I have studied, I get it now. http://www.laststep.org

    • profile image

      Crystal 2 years ago

      I have been all over this page and cannot find the quiz... Is it gone?

    • profile image

      Chloe7 2 years ago

      The one thing not mentioned is that his friends adore him. His charm is something to behold. And i'm the disliked one. One of his friends said they'll do anything to protect this him - I have been married to this person for 40 years - Divorce is a foreign concept to me but I have had a wasted life entirely. My children are gentle with great values. His mother never cuddled or loved them at all. She hated it when I picked up my newborns (her grandchildren) when they cried. She wouldn't have tea at my home while I breastfed because she found it repulsive and yet I would NEVER have done it in front of anybody at all. He has controlled me out of every cent I owned. Too late for me. I am now a miserable 59 year old who is being abused night and day verbally, plus he has dislexia from a motorbike brain trauma and I have to do all of his computer work and I get called names like "braindead" - my parents would have been mortified - i hid it from them always. It's HIS remote control, HIS property. WHAT do we eat tonight....but OTHERS adore him and he gets them to do ANYTHING for him.

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      I am beginning to learn that psychopaths are much more common that most people think. Scary.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Initially, as a woman, I got a gut feeling that there was a problem with this man, I felt it on most all meetings with him, I unfortunately ignored it, I was young, 19, I often knew he could not of done most that he claimed, I fell for the lies even knowing they were, I did marry him and even then my guts were saying no. This man controlled, beat me often and stole from me for 20 years until I finally managed to divorce him, back in the days when the police told me my beatings were classed as just a domestic, fractured ribs, kicked in tummy when pregnant, he never paid to cost of home or food and I lived in hell, solicitors used to tell me I needed at least 2.000 pounds to begin a divorce and I had no money though worked 2 jobs to keep us, my ex used to spie on me whilst I was in work and follow me there...it was sheer hell on earth and 16 years on I AM STILL AFFECTED BY IT ALL.

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks for your contribution; this actually helps clarify something about psychopathy that everyone should be aware of, namely that just because someone does not make excuses doesn't mean he is not seriously dangerous. It may mean he has a different kind of personality than the typical psychopath, but that should not be taken as an indication that he isn't dangerous.

      Your partner sounds as if he may suffer from paranoid personality disorder -- a condition that has been associated with stalking, extreme rage, violence, and lack of empathy (lack of remorse). I can't be sure of this; please see the disclaimer at the top of the page.

    • TimothyArends profile image

      Timothy Arends 5 years ago from Chicago area

      Good lens! I wonder if there are any clear-cut, widely agreed-upon differences between psychopaths, sociopaths, antisocial personality disorder and other related issues?

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 5 years ago

      @TimothyArends: Unfortunately there isn't any set of definitions for these terms that is widely accepted by professionals in the field. That's mainly because psychopathy and sociopathy are relatively uncommon, so they haven't been studied as much as antisocial personality disorder. I tend to think, based on what I have read, that sociopathy and psychopathy are functionally equivalent... but some people will tell you that sociopaths are less likely to have histories of criminal behavior, which may mean that they are better at not getting caught. But, again, I must emphasize that this distinction has not been scientifically proven to the extent that it can be considered reliable. The term "sociopath" is not recognized by any scientific experts that I know of.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      8. Does he use illness, drug or alcohol addiction, or another form of disability to justify his failure to obey the law, and/or his abusive behavior?

      A. Yes

      XB. No

      It said I got this wrong because I said no. But in reality, he felt no need to justify himself for anything he did, or make excuses. To do do would be to acknowledge that he did wrong, or feel some level of remorse. On the contrary, if I ever brought up something to him later at a more calm time, he would get angry at me for "keeping records" of everything he ever did.

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 5 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: Your friend must be very strong; she has my admiration and respect. Thanks for sharing.

    • anupma lm profile image

      anupma lm 5 years ago

      Nice test

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Fortunately my score was 0, but I had a friend who had to flee an abusive spouse. In a fit of anger, he threw their little dog down the stairs, killing it. Another time, he threw his wife's clothing in the yard and locked her out of the house. I'm so glad she is free of him now.

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm so sorry for what you've been through. I don't know if you are "the type of woman that attracts psychopaths" or not, but I tend to think there is no such type -- it's mostly just bad luck. How could you have known that there was someone dangerous behind his charming facade?

      What a relief to hear that you are divorcing him. Congratulations on getting free -- now you can live your own life, and begin to find your way back to your true self again.

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 5 years ago

      @girlfriendfactory: You're quite right, and I don't think I've confused psychopaths with abusers -- there is some overlap, but certainly not all psychopathic people are abusive in the conventional sense. That said, the man you were with sounds like a con artist who took advantage of you financially, and some experts do consider financial manipulation to be a form of abuse.

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 5 years ago

      @anonymous: No. In the "About the Quiz" section above, I instruct visitors to disregard those results as they are not relevant -- it's just how this particular module is coded on Squidoo pages, and I can't change that. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

      Interesting quiz. I find some of the questions rather misleading based on what I've read and on my experience. Such as abuse. A psychopath isn't always abusive ~ especially if they are getting what they want from the person. They are often the opposite. Quite charming and kind because they are not going to bite the hand they are manipulating and they aren't going to frighten you. As for jobs, mine convinced me to front him money for his own business ~ one that would give him the perfect alibi down the road which allowed him to continue with his deviant behavior yet give him a legitimate reason to be somewhere him might otherwise be questioned. Don't mix them up with common wife beaters and dead-beats that have a low IQ because a lot of these guys are execs that wear suits to work...even psychiatrists. Very scary.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I answered this quiz as if answering it on my wife's behalf and received 10% (the one positive was question 6, as she has at times told me that I can be scary). I hope she would answer the same way. So I want to know why it says "Outcome:- Study hard, then come back and try again.".

      Is the suggestion that with more "study" a different result would be achievable?

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 5 years ago

      @anonymous: That's quite true -- thank you. Actually, the truth about that photo is that the guy was imitating a psychopath! So your comment is quite insightful.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I guess I have been the type of woman that attracts psychopaths from the beginning. In retrospect, I see the signs were there with all the men I allowed into my life. My last husband was the worst of three. He had already been convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor ten years before I met him, but was able to convince me of how he was "tricked" and led into the crime. He had six known children, three with one woman, two with another, and still one with another, and one was concieved between the two with his second wife. He came to church and seemed like a knight in shining armor but there was a completely different person under the facade. Only weeks after our marriage, all kinds of mental abuse began, late hours away from home, excuses for bad behavior and language, and when these things happened, if I got upset, he would simply say, "if you don't like it, leave." Then, it became something out of a nightmare. He was cheating on me, women were calling our home, and if I questioned him, he would blow up in anger and become physically violent and intimidate me into silence. If I wasn't silent, he would slap, shove or break my possessions. He would periodically turn the power of at the breaker box to our home when he left, and lock the box so I wouldn't have any air-conditioning, or hide my car somewhere away from home for a week at a time so I would be stranded. If I left, he would leave me alone for about three or four months, then come around again or start calling, making promises about how much he loved me and he would be different this time, and would ALWAYS return to the same behavior. He is fourty-seven and has been doing this type of thing pretty much all of his life. He loved to show me off as his wife but would go out and find other women to sleep with, and was only remorseful acting when he was caught. Anytime anything happened, he always blamed someone else for it. I am proud to say though, after seven years I am free, our divorce is almost final and I have learned the signs of a psychopath but not without much suffering. When you are a genuine person, you tend to think that others are also but it would do people well to remember that some people are wolves in sheeps clothing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Some years back I was sitting in a bus and saw someone looking just like the guy in your intro step into the bus. My gut told me that there was something seriously wrong with the guy. I was half expecting him to pull out a gun. Instead, he told the bus driver that he had been mugged at gunpoint.

      People can look scary for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with being a psychopath. The person in the photo may have not had sleep for days, or he could be having an anxiety attack, or maybe he's simply feeling angry about having his car stolen. He could be having intense thoughts about how he's going to afford getting his baby girl a certain birthday gift because he is a victim of the recession.

      From what I understand there is no typical look for a psychopath. People should rely on their brains to make judgments, not appearance. As far as I know, there is no typical "look" for a psychopath.

    • sociopath-free profile image

      sociopath-free 6 years ago

      Anyone tangled up with this personality type has lot of heartbreak coming, but you can heal from it. Great lens!

    • profile image

      JeromeWilkins 6 years ago

      It would appear that there are quite a few psycho husbands in our society.

    • profile image

      matsui40 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I agree. Somehow, and I know this doesn't make sense to a person who has never suffered at the hands of a psychopath, you feel that at least you have some sort of control or insight into maybe what could happen next. As soon as you break free you loose this and are left in fear of wondering.

    • profile image

      matsui40 6 years ago

      @weron1: I can completely sympathise with you. I have been separated from my husband of 20 years for 18 months now. For the past 10 months my two older children and my two step-sons have turned against me because of him. Like you this has left me devastated - I am just completely heartbroken. He blamed me for his mental, sexual and physical abuse upon me. He is calculating, deceitful and dangerous but is convinced that he is doing nothing wrong and that his actions are the result of everyone else's wrong doing. He makes you feel guilty and that you should be forever indebted to him for all the good that he has given you. Like you I haven't spoken to my children about the domestic abuse I suffered as I felt that I did not want the children to feel that I was manipulating them in any way. A lot of the abuse was carried out behind closed doors but he also displayed his psychopathic tendenciesâ on the children too but unfortunately for them he has created "trauma bonding" and now they deny or make light of his physical abuse towards them. But I have learned that domestic abuse thrives on silence too. I can understand your pain, stress, anger and frustration. I can't believe that I finally managed to escape from this man only then to be manipulated by my children while he stands back and watches and gloats. His day is coming. He can't get away with this again. He did this to his first wife who moved hundreds of miles away from her children to escape him and now 3 of her 4 children have nothing to do with her. Itâs a struggle every day to get out of bed knowing that he has done all this and enjoying all of this. I am truly grateful that he has not turned my beautiful 13 year old daughter against me but I live in constant fear that he will. She is the only thing that keeps me going. Please do not give up, your children will come back to you. Every day I wake up and thankful that I do not have to look into the eyes of that man again. HIS DAY IS COMING! HE WILL BE EXPOSED!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Now I knew this looked familiar, I got 0% again and still grateful.

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Reach out to your family and other supportive people for help. Don't let him isolate you -- this is a classic trick to make you more vulnerable. You are not crazy. Use your voice! People will listen.

    • jasminesphotogr profile image

      jasminesphotogr 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Me too!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: I could have wrote your comment, almost verbatim. But, I think - no afraid that I am in a pickle...something I've been dealing with for almost two years in the making. Been married to this person for 17+ years. Something very, very strange occurred which has scared me ever since. I have thinking I've been losing my mind. He (my husband) has been really manipulating me, hard to explain, but I have some proof that he did not want me to pursue. It's really f'd up. I really need help to get out of this, but I fear the conseqences. What do I do? Who do I call? I've tried to explain to members of my family, but he has me afraid that if I do, I will look like a crazy person. I need to get out of this situation right away. Any help would be appreciated.

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 6 years ago

      @anonymous: This is very good advice, thank you.

      Check out WomensLaw.org for help finding a lawyer in your state.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have no children, but got 100%, I'm not surprised about the result at all, Grateful to be singel now

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Try to find a lawyer who can advise you on how to protect your financial interests, investigate your husband's dealings and assets, and above all be secretive about this, do not allow him to be suspicious, for he has been secretive in his deceit and betrayal of you. So operate on his level.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Gratefully, I got 0%!

    • cjsysreform profile image
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      cjsysreform 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Terri: I want to acknowledge the truth in what you're saying about how difficult it is to get out from under the control a psychopath. I don't think any less of women (or men) who are unable to do so, or who may choose not to leave out of concern for the safety of their children.

    • profile image

      dannystaple 6 years ago

      By the way, I've lensrolled this on a related lens - Homeless and pregnant in London.

    • profile image

      dannystaple 6 years ago

      I've met people who were psychopaths and put their friends in danger. This guy seemed to be a good mate, fun to spend time with, but increasingly we had to keep away from him as he would do things to attract trouble (something I am keen to avoid). I have met a few people like this, mostly men, although one or two women too. God help anybody who ends up in a romantic relationship with them though. I do also think that long term drug or alcohol usage can lead people to behave like psychopaths, that their empathy and awareness of the effect of their behaviour is either diminished or ignored.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      There is nothing wrong with psycopaths except the fact some kill. Its not their fault if women and society and corruption of the world drove them crazy!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Leave you say? When you and the children are viewed as his possessions that he has no intention of letting go? When his charm and control have convinced all who know him, including your own family, that you are some kind of crazy woman? When everyone would support his bid for custody of the children? When you would no longer be there to afford what protection you could for these children? Everyone always asks why women do not just leave. There are many ways to hold people to ransom and holding their children as hostages is just one of many. Add to this, the fact that most women are killed in the act of leaving, means that this is never a simple decision.

    • profile image

      weron1 7 years ago

      I was married to a psychopath that molested my children and convinced them it was their fault.

      Even childrens protective services were deceived by him and let him go. He pitts my children against me and each other and enjoys the control of watching them be jeolose of each other over him.Decades of heartach knowing what this man has been doing to my children even into their adult lives has devistated me to this day. I've become both physically and emotionally ill at the inability to expose his real character to my children as they will deny and defend and excuse him for his bad actions to this day. I don't want to make things worse so keep quiet and allow his molestation to be kept secret and the anger at all this has hurt me significantly. it's a wonder I'm still functioning halfway normal at all. I have no solutions to this. I don't want to upset my adult children about it so must conceal all that this man has been responsible for in emotionally ruining their lives as well as mine. Only devine intervention on behalf of my adult children and I can expose him for who and what he truly is. He's a master at eliciting self pity and sympathy from them and all his former wives. The evil with which he operates is nothing but heartbreak for my children and me to this day. He owns a collection of guns and uses it to bolster his machismo. His violent outbursts of rage are consistently forgiven and dismissed through eliciting sympathy for his actions. My relationship between my children and I is one of distrust as that man is the wedge that sits between them and me for decades. I don't know what else to say except this is the very evil spoken of in the bible that says the devil speaks truth and lies in the same breath and speaks out both sides of his mouth at the same time and anyone can be fooled.

      I'm enraged but hang on with hopeing I can find a way to expose him for what he did do to my children.

      Dealing with the anger is the worst part as I try to pick up the pieces of the broken life of both my adult children and myself. And this man actually enjoys his emotional blackmailing power over all of us to this day. Realizing he used my kids to punish me and losing them to his life of lies about me is the biggest hurdle I must overcome. Only my love of God and Mercy will spare me from the horrors that this man has consistently committed against my children and me, "I hope"!

    • cjsysreform profile image
      Author

      cjsysreform 7 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the excellent advice, Alison, and for sharing your experience. I'm glad to hear that you took the time you needed to recover, learn, and move on. That takes great strength and insight.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I was in a relationship with someone who had a psychopathic personality in my twenties. Many people with this profile are very charming. They know how to target people. Though it only lasted a year, it was very damaging for me, and I spent a fair amount of time dealing with the aftermath. Fortunately, I learned from my mistake. My advice to someone whose partner is a psychopath? Leave. You won't change them. Ever. They will continue to use you. Educate yourself so that it doesn't happen again.