We recently watched this documentary on Investigation Discovery. (Again, my wife always has the remote and always finds stuff off the beaten path– although, wait a second, was she trying to send me a message here???)
While many people might not feel empathy for the narrator, an investigative reporter, the reality is that more people are sucked in by con artists that we think. One might make the argument an entire country was played by one recently, but there are many who disagree, which actually makes the point. There are some who still believe the doctor in this documentary is doing ground-breaking work. I tend to the side that he horribly experimented on and murdered people with his scalpel and they died agonizing deaths. Watch and decide for yourself.
As far as the romance, this happens often and few are reported for various reasons including threats, but also feeling dumb. These type of malignant narcissists come in many forms: doctors, writers, politicians, all across the spectrum. They can invade your life without your even realizing it and then slowly change your reality to theirs. They actually view it as a game and in this case, the doctor must have felt he was scoring big points in his life game by playing an investigative reporter. Yes, he actually got her to believe the Pope was going to marry them.
My wife and I always joke that if your daughter/son come home from a first date and say “I’ve met the person I’m going to marry” get very scared, because there is a chance they’ve met a psychopath who is able to mirror them and give them exactly what they want.
There is a show on Bravo airing now titled Dirty John that also covers the same ground. We’ve watched the first two episodes and it stars Connie Britton as a woman who experienced this– Britton is brilliant so far, and Eric Bana is good, but compared to her, it’s hard for him to hold his ground, even though he is the antagonist. I’ll report on that show once it’s finished its run but so far it is so well done, it’s deeply disturbing.
If you want to see how bad a psychopath can be, watch He Lied About Everything.