Forty years ago, Sherry Amatenstein was married to an abuser. Lovefraud readers will recognize her story. After sucking her into a relationship with lies and plagiarized poetry, they married, and soon he isolated her from her family and became emotionally and psychologically abusive. Sherry also experienced two incidents of physical abuse.
Sherry was miserable but felt trapped — until her husband decided that he was done. Still, she was attached to the relationship — can anyone say trauma bond? Finally, she escaped. After her abusive ex-husband, she eventually left her career as a magazine editor, became a social worker, and found a happy relationship.
You can read her story here:
I found out on Google my abusive ex-husband was dead, on Nexttribe.com.
Some things are unfixable
As a mental health clinician, Sherry notes that while people who want to can change, some things are unfixable. She cites Lovefraud’s recent study, Surviving Senior Psychopathy: Informant Reports of Deceit and Antisocial Behavior in Multiple Types of Relationships.
Our research focused on people who had traits of antisocial personality disorder/psychopathy and were age 50 or older. A total of 1,215 Lovefraud readers completed the survey about their romantic partners, family members, work colleagues and acquaintances. They reported that 99% of those individuals were manipulative, 94% engaged in antisocial behavior, 93% were emotionally abusive, 89% were psychologically abusive, 58% were financially abusive and 47% were violent.
The key finding of the research was that of the survey respondents who knew the individuals both before and after age 50, 93% reported that their manipulation, deceit and antisocial behavior were just as bad, or worse, as they aged.
Senior Sociopaths book
I also wrote a book based on the same research called, Senior Sociopaths: How to recognize and escape lifelong abusers. In it, I report in depth on the experiences of the Lovefraud survey respondents. What they endured from their over-50 disordered family members and acquaintances was, in many cases, traumatic.
I encourage readers who find themselves in this situation to check out the book. Besides the hair-raising stories of abusive ex-husbands and others, Senior Sociopaths includes advice from survey respondents on how they dealt with their sociopaths over 50 and how they recovered. You’ll find tips from people who have actually been there.
This is my objective in writing the book: I want you to understand that sociopaths do not calm down, grow up or mellow out with age. If you realize that you dealing with a sociopath, please understand that his or her behavior will never get better, and may very well get worse. I hope you use this information to decide how you will move forward in your own life.
For more about the book, check out the Senior Sociopaths page.