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Loving someone with a personality disorder

Posted by @mattersoftheheart28 in Mental Health, Oct 14, 2011

I've been in a relationship with a man who has a personality disorder for nearly four years. He hasn't been diagnosed as of yet, but I see a psychologist for anxiety & depression. I've struggled with my issues for some time, but I do a lot of reading & research to help me to better understand & cope with my own issues. I decided to do the same with my significant others personality traits. His traits are characteristic of Schizoid PD & Avoidant PD I can't decide which, but mostly I can't figure out how to live with loving someone who has a personality disorder. It's difficult because while I'm aware of it & understand it I find it hard to cope with when my own needs for affection are overwhelming. In all my reading the partner got out the relationship. I don't really want out of my relationship, but I find it hard to live with. In the begining things were great I felt like a teenager again, we talked on the phone til the sun came up, he called me numerous times a day it was great until the relationship became intimate. It;s been a roller coaster ride since then. The hardest thing to deal with is that the relationship seems one sided, he's not there for me or my needs but I am for his. This is very difficult because he used to be, he was a great listener & he was encouraging before sex. Afterwards it seemed that he became uncomfortable with how attached he'd become to me, or the emotion that he felt for me; things are good until it seems he begins to feel attached then he'll withdraw & not say a word to me for weeks. I don't know what to do??!!

Tags: mental health


Posted by @vicki, Oct 15, 2011

When I read your post just now I found it quite interesting. I think alot of people have personality disorders and few are diagnosed as such. Most people aren't willing to accept that there is something not 'quite right' about themselves and they prefer to live in denial. That does not seem to be so good for those that love them and would like to have a more intimate relationship.

If I were you, I'd keep talking to your psychologist about the situation and determine what is best for your own mental health. Unfortunately, it does not sound like this man is going to change on his own and you will need to change some things for yourself. Establishing a good set of boundaries between you and this man might be a good place to start. If you can't handle the emotional torture, then stay out of the bedroom. If you can compartmentalize sex in your head and just 'do it' and not worry about his behavior afterward, then do.

Most women want more than just the physical aspects of it. A man that can't handle any emotional intimacy is mentally crippled, in my opinion. He isn't going to go back to being Mr. Honeymoon again because that phase of your relationship is over. Just accept him the way he is and figure out what you want and find your way. A man that withdraws and doesn't say a word for 'weeks' is selfish and abusive. Obviously, he knows he has issues and if he isn't willing to do the work with the psychologist to help himself learn to be the man you need, then he probably doesn't love you. I don't think having sex with someone like that is healthy for you.

Posted by Anonymous-aeaf6ea1, Oct 24, 2011

I agree wholeheartedly! A very selfish person will draw you in close and then reject you repeatedly when they get the least bit uncomfortable with the relationship. If that is having a personality disorder, I don't know. I do know that people can't live like that indefinitely. It is difficult to love someone that loves you one week and hates you the next. I sure wouldn't get too close to someone like that, you'll only get burned!

Posted by Anonymous-8efa72f9, Oct 15, 2011

Are you sure he didn't become uncomfortable when it seemed 'you' had a greater attachment to 'him' or the emotion you felt for him started to show...including showing your need for affection? Maybe the person he 'used to be' is still inside of him but maybe he changes when the relationship he 'perceives' himself to be in changes. Do you live together? I agree it would not be o.k. not to talk to you for weeks if you live together but if you don't then it would be normal 'to me'... I am not diagnosed but it appears I have avoidant traits, at the female though. I have terminated every relationship instantly when the words love or marriage where so much as mentioned...even though I would prefer to be in one. On the other hand, I've known one man for over 20 years who never used words that implied commitment or defined relationships in those terms. Do you know how he was in past relationships? Seriously curious if you think he may perceive you to change first. I also wonder if he would withdraw less if you acted more casual...maybe a little indifferent, just not serious or too sincere. Just discovered APD & really don't know much about it. It appears a defining factor is that APD's do want a relationship & schizoid's do not at all.

Posted by Anonymous-aeaf6ea1, Oct 19, 2011

I used to know a woman that had some sort of 'borderline' personality. She would make friends and then sabotage the relationships with her meanness. She's never married and has trouble with commitments. We were good friends until she made some very mean remarks that seemed to be based in jealousy. Unfortunately, I couldn't handle the poison coming out of her mouth and had to end the relationship.

Posted by Anonymous-8efa72f9, Nov 22, 2011

It seems you came into question here on this post. Just so you know, that was not the intention of the above comment. I actually admired the fact that you've had enough compassion and patience for the amount of effort it seems you have put into this relationship. The questions about how he reacts were genuine and I would still like to here your opinion on it.


Posted by @nativefloridian, Oct 15, 2011

If your need for affection is overwhelming, maybe look at your feelings a bit more and see if there's any tendency toward co-dependence on your part. Sometimes being co-dependent alot can make you want to help other people with 'problems'. I knew a couple that were just friends for a long time and felt comfortable with one another. One day the man began to share personal stories with the woman and she realized he was interested in more from their relationship. This couple lived in two different cities, so it was easy to be apart for days or a week and not really know what was going on with the each other. Talking on the phone alot gave the impression of both having normal personalities but once they started cohabitating, she realized that he had an anger issue. He was very conflict avoidant and became angered easily. She went to therapy and they told her that his repressed anger would cause depression and it did. He became agitated, difficult to live with, even borderline violent sometimes if he was pushed beyond his limitations. He refused to go to therapy once the doctor started getting into his head. That's when their roller coaster ride started and they are still seeking professional help because the man's mental problems became physical ailments. People that don't 'process' their feelings often make themselves physically sick due to the stress on their bodies. I'm only telling you this to forewarn you, if you choose to stay with him you may be in for a long life living with someone that will probably take alot out of you. It is best to surround yourself with lots of supportive friends and family and let others help you. Don't try to deal with this relationship on your own and expect that it won't drag you down.

As far as your own feelings for affection, whatever decision you make just be sure you can live with it. Be kind to yourself and realize that God loves you, even if you feel like your man doesn't. Focus on gratitude and being the 'best' you that you can be! Best wishes and hope you understand that there are many other people out there dealing with personality disorders. you are not alone.

Posted by Anonymous-aeaf6ea1, Oct 16, 2011

Hey do you think you might be over analyzing him? I think it might be possible for us to associate one's behaviors with a disorder because it is easier sometimes. Whenever I get OCD about something that is bothering me (like i just can't figure it out and I have to!) I tend to analyze the bugeebas out of it. Maybe the guy just needs some space and you need to get more 'other interests' so you'll be more content. If you're super smart, start studying something you really are interested in and get into it so you're not driving him up a wall with the paralysis of analysis?


Posted by @lizziejean, Aug 2, 2012

you just described my fiance and I! I really appreciate that you posted, shared about your experiences, it helps to know that someone else has similiar issues. would be interested in talking with you privately.

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