You asked about this: "partners/followers of manipulative people are often very compassionate and nurturing people, who are often quite the opposite of the person they love."
This is frequently the case regarding "nurturers." I believe it may be because a confirmed nurturer--particularly one who prides herself/himself on being a nurturer, or "compassionate"--often will continue to put up with constant manipulation, whereas a less "nurturing" person would simply walk.
Actually, true compassion is not at all sentimental--in fact is the very opposite of sentimentality--and does not lead to being victimized.
Thanks for that, Dr.Robert. These are wise words indeed. I will pass this on to my friends who may feel they are being used or led astray. I think you've just answered my question of why it is unethical for a friend or a lover to become the counselor of that friend too, I think its for that exact same reason (and that they aren't trained in the area so may offer the wrong advice.) Cheers :-) P.