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Does Your Refuser Have A Personality Disorder?

When we hear the term 'psychopath', most of us think of Jeffrey Dahmer, Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy Jr. and Ted Bundy to name a few, but psychopaths do not always break the law, and are not as rare as you may think. I'm reading a book about psychopaths in the workplace and it points out just how prevalent psychopathy is in society today. See if the following describes your partner.

The following is an excerpt from the book: "Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work" by Paul Babiak, Ph.D. and Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.

"One may argue that psychopaths who live freely in society simply have not yet been caught committing a crime or engaging in socially destructive behavior. Given the psychopaths’ personality features, and their inclination for breaking the rules and pushing the envelope of acceptable human behavior, there is some merit to this argument. Still, just having a psychopathic personality disorder does not make one a criminal. Some psychopaths live in society and do not technically break the law — although they may come close, with behavior that usually is very unpleasant for those around them. Some may lead seemingly normal lives, not hurting people in ways that attract attention, but causing problems nonetheless in hidden economic, psychological, and emotionally abusive ways. They do not make warm and loving parents, children, or family members. They do not make reliable friends or coworkers. Many psychopaths adopt a parasitic existence, living off the generosity or gullibility of others by taking advantage of and often abusing the trust and support of friends and family. They may move from place to place and from one source of support to another. You probably know one. You could work for, work with, or be married to someone with a psychopathic personality and not know that there is a formal psychological term for the individual who causes you so much pain and distress. He or she can be a neighbor, friend, or family member whose behavior you may find fascinating, confusing, and repelling."
Iamhere4me Iamhere4me 36-40, M 32 Responses Mar 12, 2011

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"Given the psychopaths’ personality features, and their inclination for breaking the rules and pushing the envelope of acceptable human behavior." - that sounds like what you are doing.
"Although they may come close, with behavior that usually is very unpleasant for those around them." - that sounds like your both your ex wife and you are doing(behaviour towards your ex and coincidentally vice versa.)
"Some may lead seemingly normal lives, not hurting people in ways that attract attention, but causing problems nonetheless in hidden economic, psychological, and emotionally abusive ways." - that sounds like you.

But the most exact point you have stated is "she has mindfucked me", and don`t forget that you mindfucked her too.

Ok so it is a fair situation, no right, no wrong.

Hear hear Baz. I couldn't agree with you more. My stbx isn't a psychopath, but she has mindfucked me. nonetheless. I've got my walking boots on.

If you are truly in a position where you are being "mindfucked" then as long as you are in proximity to the "mindfucker" the "mindfucking" continues.<br />
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If you place yourself away from the "mindfucker", then the "mindfucking" ceases.<br />
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At that point, if you want, in the cold light of day, you might be able to figure out the "why" they are a "mindfucker". You will never find out the "why" whilst you subject yourself to said "mindfucking".<br />
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So, under one scenario, it would be advisable to get out, so you can look ob<x>jectively at the "why" they are a "mindfucker".<br />
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Under another scenario, it would be advisable to get out because they are a "mindfucker".<br />
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Tread your own path.

I agree because I am the exception to my own theory. Despite being in one of the longest lasting sexless marriages of anyone here I have always been solidly in the "I want to know" camp and have been researching sexless marriages since the mid 90's. And, in all that time I have never come across psychopathy as a cause. So this conversation is news to me too.

Jaguar, the point of this post was not to determine whether it matters or not. The point if my post was to help some of those to whom it does make a difference. Judging by some of the comments here, it has served this purpose.

You are never going to resolve this. At the risk of sounding like the tired old man here I've seen this conversation crop up at least a half a dozen times over the years and it always ends up with the "I want to knows" arguing with the "who gives a s*h*i*t*s?" The former usually being in short term sexless marriages and the latter being long term veterans.

Redzcar, to people like you it obviously makes no difference. To those unfortunate souls who have been mindfucked, and particularly those who are still getting mindfucked by a psychopath, it makes a SHITLOAD of a difference.

Reckon you might be stuck on the "why" mate.<br />
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It's a road to nowhere after a while. But everyone's definition of "a while" is different.<br />
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Tread your own path.

Thanks for all your comments. The issue that no-one seems to touch on here except, briefly Enna, is that we're human and all of us have insecurities. Anyone who has dealt with a psychopath will know that they very subtly undermine your confidence until you're reliant upon them to know whether you're right or not. Those of us in sexless marriages already question ourselves about whether we're at fault or they are. Throw a psychopathic partner into the mix and the refused partners head is going to be in a real ******* mess. Therefore, if the refused partner can look at a list of behaviours that suggest a likelihood of psychopathy or another mental illness, it may help them realise that they are not the problem and this can go a long way towards giving them the confidence to leave. <br />
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Sorry Baz, the car analogy doesn't hold true because if the car breaks down, you KNOW it's the car that stopped working, not that you forgot how to drive! When dealing with broken relationships, we ALWAYS question whether we're at fault unless, of course, we're psychopaths in which case we know that we're NEVER wrong.

You have a car. You have had it a fair while. It is an unreliable heap of ****. You've patched it up many times, it probably now owes you a heap of money, and the temptation is to throw good money after bad.<br />
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You are driving to a very important matter today.<br />
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Grrr / clunk / sputter / BANG / It stops.<br />
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Last time this happened it was the ignition coil. The time before that it was the fuel pump. Who knows what it is this time ? Might be the battery. Maybe the spark plug leads. Could be a blocked injector. It may be timing belt. The engine management module could be the culprit. The pinion gear in the diff ? Hell, could maybe be the head gasket.<br />
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Anyway, you have a destination to get to. Start walking, hitch hike, call a taxi. Whatever you have to do to get where you need to be. <br />
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The car is ******. There could be 1,001 reasons "why" the car is ******, but the inescapable fact is that whatever caused it, the car is ******. <br />
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That is what you have to deal with. <br />
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Once you have got to your destination, and things have settled down a bit, you might like to have an ob<x>jective think about "why" the car failed. You might in time be able to narrow it down. It was either the fuel tank, the fuel line, the fuel filter or the fuel injectors probably. <br />
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So you know - as near as you ever can - what the problem likely was. You might note to self "don't buy another car with this type of fuel tank, fuel line, filter or injector." <br />
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Tread your own path.

There's also a book called "The Sociopath Next Door" that talks about these people who live near and work with us in every day society. And sociopathic traits are becoming more and more acceptable in today's world. Scary.

The single characteristic that most disturbs me concerning my H is his complete lack of empathy. And I mean COMPLETE lack; he has never shown empathy for ANYONE … no empathy when someone is hurt or sick, no empathy when someone has died, nothing, zero, zip, nada. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that lack of empathy is a symptom of many personality disorders. In fact he meets ALL of the criteria for what is called Avoidant (a.k.a. Dismissive) Attachment Disorder but who knows and who cares about the cause or what the specific diagnosis might be … not him (he thinks he is normal) and, certainly not me.<br />
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Knowing a specific diagnosis would not be helpful because I do not believe that one can acquire empathy through therapy or other means. There is nothing I can do and nothing I can change in my behavior that will make him care about me or our daughter. I know this now, thank goodness, so I have stopped all my Herculean efforts at trying to achieve some type of emotional connection with him.<br />
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He is not human, he looks human yes, but he doesn’t ACT like a human being. However, he is a good human-pretender because he fooled me for several years before marriage.

I think it is very helpful to understand the why, just so you can perhaps prevent a repeat of the same sexless situation in you next relationship. I think by being retrospective as to what attracted you to this person in the first place, what cues you missed, what kept you with this person, is extremely valuable in protecting you from another situation just like the one you left.<br />
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I also agree that there is some sort of personality dissorder or physical dissorder afecting the refusers I don't accept that a person willingly ignores the sex drive. The sex drive is the force behind pro-creation, and so is a very strong and normal part of life. To be sexless in desire is just not normal.<br />
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Neuilly

Much of our need to understand our Refusers comes from the very normal feeling that "everyone is like me"! At an intellectual level we freely acknowledge individual differences and accept that everyone is NOT alike . . . !<br />
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But at an emotional level, those whose behaviour is totally different from our own cause us confusion and anxiety. We tend to internalise this anxiety and confusion by asking ourselves:<br />
"Is it ME?"<br />
"Am I the one whose desires / needs / wants etc. are somehow "strange"? Have I provoked a situation in which my spouse feels obligated to behave contrary to his/her earlier behaviour? Is my love for her/him stifling our relationship - so that s/he feels the need to withdraw from me?"<br />
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In our attempts to understand what is happening in our relationships, we examine / theorise / hypothesise and undertake all types of mental enquiries.<br />
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Whilst it is certainly true that the actual CAUSE will rarely affect the outcome of our situations, it is nevertheless very normal and human to want to understand the "Why?"<br />
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In all areas of our life, we use classification. This is how we manage our day-to-day life without chaos and confusion! We draw information from the sources around us and use this to provide us with the knowledge we need to proceed in a productive way. <br />
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Much of this knowledge is inferred - not necessarily "concrete" in nature. For example: We see dark clouds and we take an umbrella to work. It may or may not rain, but we have inferred - ba<x>sed on past experience - that there is a likelihood it WILL rain and therefore we will need our umbrellas!<br />
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Ignoring the sign posts around us because "they might not be true" would make sense at one level - they might NOT be true! But there would be an awful lot of WET people who could have stayed dry if they had extrapolated a possible outcome from the information they were given!!<br />
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When we try to understand the reasons / underlying causes / motivations etc. of our spouses' behaviour, we do so because such information helps us work out how to cope in our own lives . . . If we simply say to ourselves "The cause of my spouse's behaviour is irrelevant" we are probably saying no more than the truth - but does this help US to manage our daily lives?<br />
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Whilst it makes little sense to dwell on the "why" once you have left (or once you have made the decision to definitely leave), IMO it certainly DOES make sense to consider the "why" when you are still in the relationship.<br />
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You will probably never fully understand what is happening or why your spouse is the way she/he is. But in this process of examining and seeking to understand, you WILL come to some very valuable conclusions:<br />
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- that it almost certainly not "your fault"<br />
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- that your partner has issues that put him / her outside the range of neuro-typical behaviour<br />
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- that resolving the situation is something you cannot do alone <br />
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- and many more realisations which allow you to plan your way forward.

That's the right way to look at it. Weigh the possibilities, do the research. Don't just latch onto the easiest explanation especially if it is one that lets the refused spouse completely off the hook like having a Gay spouse or some extreme mental illness. It is tempting I know, but like I said, start lower down the list.<br />
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Attachment and Depressive disorders, as well as the various anxiety disorders are always a good place to start if there are no obvious interpersonal reasons. Heavy p*o*r*n* use is often the result of other factors so don't just brush off a p*o*r*n* using Refuser by labeling him "addicted" And with men, sexual dysfunctions are also usually the result of something else. But, as the main presenting symptom, they will turn a man off partner sex faster than you can turn off a light switch.<br />
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With women look at a perceived lack of intimacy, especially outside the bedroom before looking at the psychological causes. And, as hard as it is, don't discount attraction issues, especially with men.

For many of us, HECK YEAH it matters. I have 2 kids and my ex is the father to them. I need to understand what's in his head as much as possible. I'm forever connected to him hand have to deal with him almost daily. Plus, I've found that since I believe there's more than just "he's a selfish bastard" wrong with him, it gives me more of a capacity to forgive. And since he sees nothing wrong with himself and will never go see anyone about his perceived perfection, all I've got is my own "uncertified" diagnosis. <br />
I have no question that my ex has pretty pronounced attachment issues. He seems to drop every relationship that's not convenient to him including many friends that have constantly tried to reach out to him after he loses interest. He totally manipulates people and situations for his own benefit and always comes out looking like Mr Nice Guy. I've often been grateful he's not very sexual because I don't know what he would have done. A very few times I've seen the la<x>yers peeled back and seen his true self and it scares me. Is he a psychopath? I don't know, but he is not a nice guy.

I've got no argument against personality disorders often being the cause of a lack of sexual desire as are anxiety and depressive disorders. I think interpersonal difficulties probably tops the list of causes but psychological problems come in a close second. But as you said yourself psychopathy is pretty "emotive" all right. In some cases it may be technically possible but it is such a loaded term that around here, with people who are sometimes ready to believe almost anything as far as why they are being refused, using that term is like pouring gasoline on a fire. <br />
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It is like the "my spouse is gay" theory refused spouses often come up with. As I've said before, on a list of the top 20 causes of a sexless marriage, being a Gay person trying to pass for straight in a marriage is number 21 and I'd dare say being a psychopath is probably around number 50. People should probably start a little lower on the list before they get to "my spouse is a psychopath"

4PM60<br />
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I'm with both Baz and Enna, also EH said "None of us are certified to make such diagnoses. And this leads to dangerous territory. " Very true.<br />
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I can only speak from my perspective here - My wife has 'Probably' got OCPD, and/or related anxiety ba<x>sed (Fear ba<x>sed) personality disorders ba<x>sed on the opinions of 2 therapists, but she will not see a therapist to challenge her thinking (and her past) and be happier in her life.<br />
What Baz said is true. She will not help her self so really it matters not to me. I have had the Talk part 1-2-3 and she seems to prefer choosing the risk of being single over confronting her issues.<br />
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I have come to the decision that I can not tolerate this any more, so have disengaged, I stay to manage the situation and children and for some other reasons... for now.<br />
This sexless thing is just a symptom and in truth only a small part of the issues here.<br />
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Mild personality disorders can cause havoc to a loving partner as they twist and turn to fix things, so I see where you are coming from4PM60. Personality disorders can cause a lot of relationship problems.<br />
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Also, following EH's wise words, maybe they don't have problems? Maybe they are just different.<br />
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It's what you choose to do that counts, and once again, it comes back to the same 3 things - Like it , Lump it or leave it.

Possibly so EH, but how many people hang around thinking they can change or "fix" their refuser?

But, isn't this a very tricky subject, 4PM60?<br />
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None of us are certified to make such diagnoses. And this leads to dangerous territory. <br />
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And, again...does the reason matter for WHY they should leave?<br />
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They should leave because their spouse refuses them the basic requirement of a marriage.

Yes EH, I'm glad you're out of the situation you were in and this doesn't apply to you. I wrote this post for people who are in relationships with psychopaths, not for people who have already left. It is pretty much agreed upon that psychopathy is incurable and untreatable, so the point I was trying to make for the small number of people out there who are married to psychopaths and are still trying to "fix" them, is that there will never be any change, and that their only remedy is to leave.

I'm with @Baz on this. WHY they do what they do is of no real importance. <br />
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WHAT they are willing to do to address the situation is the only thing of merit here. <br />
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If my Refuser has psychopathic / sociopathic tendencies, does it make it easier to leave?<br />
If he has Asperger's or Autism, am I wrong in leaving?<br />
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We're playing mind games with ourselves. <br />
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I prefer to just shrug it off as - WE didn't work together and then, move on.<br />
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Who knows...there might be a sociopath out there for him?

FINALLY!!! Someone gets the point of my post! Thanks Enna. You make a very good point about psychopaths and sociopaths covering their tracks. It is all too often the neurotypical (normal) person who gets blamed for problems the psychopath caused.

PM, I think you make an EXCELLENT point. One of my (many!) issues regarding mental health is that, due to the awful stigma mental health issues carry in our society, few people are prepared to acknowledge or accept that someone they know (or they themselves) have a mental health issue until or unless it becomes SO obvious it can no longer be ignored . . . . <br />
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By this time it is often WAY too late for any treatment to be valuable or effective . . . <br />
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Mental health issues, including personality disorders, occur on a spectrum from very mild to full blown. As time passes, if treatment is not received, the person with a MILD condition may get gradually worse. Other factors may also exacerbate this downward trend - such as age.<br />
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IF Society was prepared to be less judgemental and more supportive, many people WOULD seek help before the effects of their disorder or condition ruined their lives - and the lives of others, especially their nearest and dearest.<br />
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And one challenging fact about the psychopath or sociopath is that they can often "cover their tracks" brilliantly! As a result, it is the "sane" or "normal" person who ends up feeling that she/he is the "mad" one!!<br />
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I once worked for a doctor who was also schizophrenic. When she was well she was brilliant at her job and a great person, but when she was ill, it was entirely another story! I remember coming home to my then husband one day and telling him (with great passion) that I had NOT hidden the patient records . . . ! He just looked at me and then said very gently, "She really IS driving YOU crazy now!!" It was a sobering and confronting thing to realise!!!!

Jaguar, if you read the story and the comments, you might not make an a$$ of yourself.<br />
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AC, that is quite true in a lot of cases, including mine, but it wasn't the point of this post.<br />
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The term psychopath is possibly too emotive to actually be looked at ob<x>jectively in this forum. I am, as I have said before, only trying to help those who are married to psychopaths.

I think we have to understand that what we endure is a two-way street. In other words, our physical presence makes our refuser-spouses nutty too. It is like the uncertainty principle in physics. <br />
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Our marriages are like symbiotic psychological parasitism. The couple eats away at eachother with each biting provoking the other to bite back and so on.

I've read a lot of crazy s*h*i*t on this group over the years but Refusers=Psychopaths moves pretty close to the top of the list.

Thanks for your comments AC and SiTX, I'm not suggesting all refusers fit this mould, not at all. <br />
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I posted this because the incidence of psychopaths in the general population is over 1 in 100, and with there being 15000+ members in ILIASM, it is pretty likely that a fair few people here are married to psychopaths. I know my spouse is not one, but I'm hoping that those who have been completely headfucked by psycho-partners might find this helpful.

Lack of love or affection for a spouse is not a personality disorder. Refusers may be selfish but that's not psychopath-like behavior.<br />
I am no expert though...

Both my wife and I drove each other crazy. We were both getting more and more toxic towards each other as time went by. <br />
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For some strange reason, I wanted her more and more. <br />
Simultaneously, look at things her way: a man she no longer loved was coming onto her more and more...... how could she possibly stay sane????