Did you know that about one in every hundred people has a personality disorder? It is quite likely that some Refuser spouses have personality disorders.
How will it help to know if this might apply to your Refuser spouse? Well, it certainly won’t be of much use in “fixing” your marriage! The “why” of refusing sex is something that can never be fixed by anyone other than the Refuser. But some people, especially those stuck in sexless marriages, can be helped to this realisation (that they can’t fix things) by understanding what may explain the behavior of their spouses.
One of the challenges of diagnosing personality disorder is that everyone has a personality! How do we decide that a person has a Personality Disorder? [The information here (in italics) comes from two websites, acknowledged below. Where something is stated in bold, I have emphasised it because I think it is particularly relevant to this forum.]
The term "Personality Disorder" implies there is something not-quite-right about someone's personality. Personality disorders are serious mental health conditions which affect millions of people but which are often misunderstood and under diagnosed.
A Personality disorder is a chronic, inflexible, and maladaptive pattern of relating to the world. This maladaptive pattern is evident in the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The most noticeable and significant feature of these disorders is their negative effect on interpersonal relationships. A person with an untreated personality disorder is rarely able to enjoy sustained, meaningful, and rewarding relationships with others, and any relationships they do form are often fraught with problems and difficulties.
Personality disorders begin in childhood.
There is a wide range of personality disorders. All of them involve a pervasive pattern of behaviour, which means that the characteristic behaviours and thoughts are evident in almost all aspects of a person’s life. There are three clusters of personality disorders: odd or eccentric disorders; dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders; and anxious or fearful disorders.
. . An interesting peculiarity of personality disorders is that some people with personality disorders will routinely experience difficulties in their relationships, and difficulties at work or school, but they do not believe that there is anything wrong. In fact, they may not appear to be bothered much at all. In other words, their personality traits do not appear to be causing them any distress; meanwhile, they are causing distress to everyone around them. When that is the case, it is often the other people in their environment who notice the person is frequently hard to get along with, and difficult to relate to. Such people often seem blissfully unaware of any problem but it is readily apparent to others with whom they regularly interact that they have great difficulty adapting to life's ordinary challenges, and often seem to steer directly into storms.
It is important to note that even healthy, well-adjusted people without a personality disorder can also occasionally fall prey to . . . distorted thinking. In fact, distorted thinking is quite common when people are feeling very distressed, depressed, or anxious . . . the difference is in the frequency, degree, and persistence of the distortion. For people with personality disorders the degree of their distortion is more extreme and occurs with greater frequency than for those people without a personality disorder. Additionally, people with personality disorders find it much more difficult to become aware of, and to challenge their distorted thinking.
One of the most useful sites for those who want to find out more about Personality Disorders is called “Out of the Fog” at http://outofthefog.net Much of the information above comes from that site. There are desc
I strongly recommend everyone checks out the section “Top 100 Traits of Personality Disordered Individuals”. It is a real eye-opener and very informative. Warning! You may never look at people in your life (including yourself) the same way again!
Other information is taken from http://www.health.gov.au “What is a Personality Disorder?”