Hindsight is 20/20 and it is definitely so clear when you have the distance and detachment.
Let's start with the term "insane ex" = apparently all his ex's were labeled "insane" or "cheaters" or "liars" or all three or a combination of any description he thought would elicit a reaction of the supply he was hunting.
At this moment I am the insane ex - he has told everyone that I am controlling, money hungry, and I stalked him. I haven't spoken to him in over a year but that was what he was telling others according to a woman I ran into from our old livery yard. While we were together his recent long term ex was nuts. According to him she tried to run him down in a car, cut up his underwear and left it on his doorstep and she paid for a place to get married and picked out a dress.(He spent a year reporting her to the Benefits Fraud team to make sure she "paid" for what she did to him - after I dumped him he chased her up like a rabid dog) His ex before her was his ex wife and she, apparently, chose her kids over him and she was "too stupid" to fill out her own job application and if it wasn't for him she wouldn't have her current job. The woman before her was on and off for eight years as he repeatedly cheated on her and he couldn't figure out why she took care of his dying mother but then never spoke to him again.
He was engaged SEVEN times prior to me - he was 50 years old and managed to get engaged all those times and only get married once. I figured out he only got married because his mum died and he felt he needed, for a minute, to grow up and have a family. Of course since his maturity is that of a pre-adolescent teenager that lasted all of about 5 minutes. He used engagement as a way to keep his supply - he figured out with his limited intelligence that women who think they are getting married will pretty much give up anything in the name of being in "love" with their future husband. Reality is that he never intended on marrying any female just sucking them dry of emotional and mental well-being and any financial resources they had because he was a cheater and a liar after all.
He could never keep his stories straight. As time went on he told lies to cover lies. He told me he caught one of his exes with another man, a black man, hence he constantly made comments about how she was a disgusting female (as he is a racist). One day he made this comment about how gorgeous she was and he would love to see her again (attempting to upset me) and I reminded him of what she did and he said that she never did that and that he broke up with her because she was a slob. He also lied to cover up his cheating - once he told me he was out shopping for stable supplies and had to drive some distance but a few days later he said he had to go back to the tyre store to get his tyres checked like he did the other day - I said I thought he had gone to get feed for his horse and he said that he had done that weeks ago.
There were also the times that if I contradicted him he would degrade me. Anytime I had my own opinion he would listen then turn around a bit later in the day and make a decision on whatever we discussed stating he knew best. If I disagreed I got told I was either controlling or jealous or I had to lose weight. There were other esteem ripping comments but I seemed to have blocked them at the moment.
My favorite pattern was the use of the silent treatment. If I said or did anything he didn't like he would not answer his phone or door. I went into London to visit with a female friend and have dinner. I left my phone in my handbag so as not to disturb us - when I got out of the restaurant I noticed he had texted me multiple times and called me numerous times. When I went to ring him back he refused to answer the phone. This would happen at anytime he felt he was losing control of me or my actions. Toward the end of things I frankly was happy to not have to deal with him for a night.
All of these behaviours and actions were used to isolate me and degrade me to the point that he was the centre of my universe. We did what he wanted to do when he wanted and that was that. As I do not drive in the UK I relied on him to sometimes run errands I needed and he saw this as a way of doing me a favour that later he would throw back at me.
What it all comes down to is that he isn't really human in the emotional/mental sense of things. I think of him as an instinctual animal that hunts only to supply himself with ego boosting hormones that he can only get from females. When he is done he moves on and as he has no ability to care what he has left behind the females are left devastated. I don't even pity him as he has never felt anything for me.