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“Did He Ever Love Me?” A Qualitative Study of Life With a Psychopathic Husband  

Author:  Liane J.  Leedom.; Emily  Geslien.; Linda  Hartoonian Almas.

Source: Volume 05, Number 02, Fall 2012 , pp.103-135(33)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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This is the first in-depth study of the influence of psychopathy (as assessed by the PCL-R) on the intimate relationship behavior of men. Using well-established qualitative methods, Leedom, Geslien, and Almas examined the published memoirs of 10 women who had long-term relationships with psychopathic men. They also examined articles, videotaped interviews, forensic evaluations where available, and author feedback. The authors determined that these relationships consist of four phases: induction, commitment, disengagement, and recovery. All of the womenthey studied had been conned, manipulated, or coerced during all or most phases of the relationship. The data from the 10 memoirs have been triangulated with that of a memoir written by a woman who had been kidnapped at age 11 and held 18 years by a psychopathic man, and with a case well known to the first author. Although the resulting data are qualitative and come from a limited number of cases, they have enabled the formulation of a model to explain the relationship between the facets of psychopathy and intimate partner experiences, exploitation, and abuse. Psychopathic men may occasionally demonstrate “affectionate” behavior and express concern for children, but psychopathy is notcompatible with a healthy relationship or a nurturing home environment for children.

Keywords: Psychopathy; Psychopathy Checklist–Revised (PCL-R)

Affiliations:  1: University of Bridgeport; 2: University of Bridgeport; 3: Aftermath: Surviving Psychopathy Foundation.

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