Partner poaching is a real thing. AP in my sitch was a card-carrying partner poacher (multiple marriages/divorces) - she wanted my H AND his half of our $$$/nest egg. I'm not blaming her exclusively. My H has agency. At each fork in the road he chose the route that led straight to her bed. He was not an innocent lamb! But, she deliberately set out to interfere in my marriage and family. Yeah, yeah she didn't "didn't know me, didn't owe me anything" but she INTENDED ME HARM. She thankfully slunk away after NC. Lucky me.
they still attacked me and I still have huge trauma surrounding that.
Of course you have trauma as a direct result of her bunny-boiler behavior. This woman harassed you on social media and terrorized you via phone! It's okay to be RIGHTEOUSLY angry at her! Anger at the AP is absolutely appropriate and warranted as long as the betraying partner is in the hot seat where they belong. The betrayer and the AP are BOTH responsible for the A. The ultimate goal is to not hang onto the anger - to "put the trauma to bed." In the meantime, are you documenting the harassment? How about a lawyer sending her a cease and desist letter? Continued hyper vigilance around her crazy behaviors can make you sick, both physically and mentally. And, it's possible AP harassment could escalate if not addressed.
What link is there between being an AP and perhaps being vengeful, cruel and so on? Also obsessive.
As a matter of fact, YES there's lots of legit research demonstrating links between mate poaching (being an AP) and "dark triad/Machiavellianism" behaviors (being vengeful, cruel and so on). To save myself some typing, I've cut and pasted summaries of a few study results. There's additional related reports cited in the research summarized below if you want to plug the researcher's names into your search engine and take a look.
"A 2022 study conducted by Kardum and colleagues revealed that heterosexual men who engage in poaching the mates of other men tend to do so due to low conscientiousness and high Machiavellianism, goal-directed behavior related to being manipulative, insincere, callous and self-centered. Men who were successful at poaching also showed higher levels of psychopathy and lower levels of agreeableness. Meanwhile, women who poached mates successfully tended to be more extroverted, psychopathic, and exhibited openness. Men’s psychopathy and Machiavellianism also most consistently predicted poaching experiences in both men and women. Darker personality traits can also affect whether someone is more likely to be more receptive to mate poaching and be more "willing" to be poached. Another study by Kardum and fellow researchers (2015) used a sample of university students to investigate whether Big Five or Dark Triad traits (narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism) predicted mate poaching behaviors. It discovered that Dark Triad traits predicted mate poaching behaviors, especially poaching success in men. Dark triad traits also predicted being targeted by a poacher for women, whereas it better predicted being successfully poached in men."
And, research asserts mate poaching is part of a larger, extensive and harmful pattern. As you said, true mate poaching is not "crimes of passion or heat of the moment. It was premeditated."
"Another study by Belu and Sullivan showed that those who were in a "poached" relationship had a more "extensive history" of poached relationships and that these poached relationships tended to be of lower quality than that of non-poached relationships. We’ve all heard the phrase, "A real man (or woman) can never be stolen." While that may be true, that doesn’t mean partner poachers won’t try regardless of whether or not their intended target reciprocates. When an affair occurs, both the person who cheated and the one they cheated with (if they knew about the relationship) are at fault, especially the one who betrayed their own relationship. But when it comes to an individual who has a pattern of partner poaching, even if the person they pursue doesn’t return their affections, they will continue this destructive pattern with others."
I liked this opinion:
"It is clear partner or mate poaching is not a one-time steamy crush, a rare incident of uncontrollable lust, or an embarrassing mistake: for some partner poachers, pursuing people already in relationships gives them a sense of power, a rush of control, a feeling of sadistic pleasure and victory that they’ve one-upped their perceived "opponent," even though that person was never competing with them in the first place. Psychopathic partner poachers may attempt to infiltrate the relationships of others in disturbing ways, escalating with a boldness and callousness that has no regard for the spouse who is terrorized. They may even attempt to flaunt their newfound romance in the victim’s face (thankfully, research confirms it’s bound to be a low-quality relationship if the partner is successfully poached). Mate poaching is a pattern of harmful behavior that is morally transgressive and can be invasive and violating for the innocent parties who are victimized. It should be taken seriously and all parties who participate should be held accountable for their behavior."
[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 1:24 AM, Friday, September 15th]