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CKYMargera00

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Hello.
I decide to join the message board in hope of find people that are sharing some of the same struggles that I am right now. My husband was diagnosed back in 2001 with Anti-social personality disorder and Narcissism. We have been together for over 7 years and married for 5.

I have dealt with so much with him. He’s been in and out of jail several times for a bunch of different reasons; from driving without insurance to assault to drugs. He has been on probation for the past 4 years for a drug charge and has prison time hanging over his head if he were to have a similar charge. He has smoked pot (claiming that it helped him feel normal) and done cocaine. I’m sure that there have been other drugs, but nothing that I know of or that he will admit to. He has been sober though, for about 4 years though, only drinking once in a great while. He has no problem lying if it suits something that he needs or wants. He seems to have a theory that people are only worth his time if he can benefit from them. (Sometimes it makes me wonder why he wants to be with me.) He has no tolerance for what he calls “stupid” people. He finds them beneath him and becomes extremely agitated and frustrated if he has to deal with them for a any period of time. He has no friends, only me. People usually don’t believe me when I say that, but he has no one. It seems like anyone that he has had a relationship with in the last 10 years has nothing to do with him anymore, but he claims he likes it like that. He pushes people away, especially if he feels like he’s been betrayed by them. He has no remorse or regret for anything. He makes it clear that he regrets nothing in his life and has no time to sit around and wonder “what if”. He is charming and witty. And most of all manipulative. He seems to have it down to an art. Sometimes I have to sit back and re-think what he has said to me, going over it with a fine tooth comb to make sure that it isn’t one of his games.

Its hard because people wonder why I stay with him. Sometimes I ask myself that. I’m 24, I have my whole life ahead of me. I do love my husband. We have been through so much and its hard to give up 7 years of your life. It’s especially hard now. For the past two years, things have been great for us. Better then they have in a long time. But out of the blue, things started going back to how they were. He started leaving for God knows how long. He’s started the mind games and the hurtfulness. It’s like he’s gone back to everything that we worked so hard to fix. His dad and mom told me once, ‘He can only be “good” for so long before it goes back to how things were’. He has no support from his mom or dad, and his sister lives in another country. Not that either of his parents would be able to help, he has extreme issues with both of them. I don’t know if it stems from him being adopted or exactly what. I know that we’ve separated in the past and he has always seemed to wander back. He is unable to function or deal with things. He’s made it clear that he is unable to have a relationship, sexual or emotional with anyone. Sometimes I wonder why he picked me. Because at times it’s like he did. He told his mom once that he was sorry that he didn’t love her, his dad or his sister but he loved me and he didn’t know why.

Now things are slowly starting to go back to normal…I just worry that it will only be for another two years….I want to be able to understand him and his illnesses better….

I could go on and on. But I just wanted to give a quick summary. I hope that I can find some support and advice here. I know he has other underlying mental health issues, but they're undiagnosed.

Any advice or suggestions or personal experience is welcome. OR if you have any questions, maybe my experience can help someone else that is living with someone with personality disorders.

Thanks and take care.
 

emery2027

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Oct 19, 2007
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Hello CKYMargera00,

Your story is very heartwrenching. I look forward to talking with you on the forums. Maybe we can learn a bit from each other's experiences. I am not in the exact same situation as you, but my husband has some psychiatric difficulties, and his counsellor just recommended last night that he take an extended leave from work because his stress level was so high that he was afraid "Michael" (that's what I'll call him here) was going to blow his cork. His problems have caused great difficulty in our marriage, including emotional/verbal abuse.

From your letter, I see that you met him when you were quite young, and married young also. And you are still young. I feel for you, because I realize how difficult it must be for you to be dealing with such weighty matters at such a young age. I'm in my 30's, and even with that extra bit of life experience, I still sometimes wonder how I'm going to hold up. You may be bearing the burden of having to appear strong all the time, and I'm sure that's exhausting and scary too.

I hope you will find the support and advice you're looking for here. I'll do my best to provide any insights that I can, or to just listen when you need to vent.

Take care, Emery
 

David Baxter

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As I've said often on this forum, I don't try to diagnose anyone online or to confirm or dispute diagnoses online but I will say, based just on the description you provide here, that it does sound like your husband's diagnosis ("antisocial personality disorder and narcissim") is consistent with the behavior and personality traits you describe.

Individuals with thiese diagnoses do not have a very good prognosis in terms of change, in part because they don't usually see any reason to change themselves - rather, they want the rest of the world to change for them.

On the other hand, you say:

I know he has other underlying mental health issues, but they're undiagnosed.

Has he ever shown any insight into these "underlying issues" or any interest in having them diagnosed? Has he ever shown any real interest in changing his behavior and attitudes?
 

Halo

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Hi CKYMargero00 and welcome to Psychlinks :welcome2:

I am glad that you decided to join us and I hope to see you around :wave:
 

HA

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:welcome2: CKY!

Wow, your only 24 and have already had 7 yrs of more difficulty than pleasure in your marriage by the sounds of it. Seems like you are choosing a very hard and lonely life.

Hope this site will be helpful for you.

:grouphug:
 

boethius

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Oct 10, 2007
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If you leave him sounds like he'd understand, maybe that's why you stay.
 
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CKYMargera00

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Oct 22, 2007
Messages
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1
Has he ever shown any insight into these "underlying issues" or any interest in having them diagnosed? Has he ever shown any real interest in changing his behavior and attitudes?

As far as showing insight, he has, though part of me wonders if they are part of the manipulation or an honest cry for help. At times its almost as if he splits himself into two people, the good and the bad...though I know from experience that most people with PD's see everything as either "black or white". I know he also has issues with emotions, as far as showing them or as he says, actually feeling them....I know that sounds weird...but the best way he describes it..he knows he loves me....he just doesn't feel it... He has had problems in the past with night terrors and depression as well. As far as being diagnosed, he absolutly refuses to speak with a professional. He's afraid that he could be committed or labeled as something he's not (he's been in the hospital long term at age 12--7months, 15--3weeks, 16-2 weeks and then 21--month and 1/2).
He has always claimed that he is who he is and because its part of him, he sees no reason to change himself. He can for periods of time, be "good" though that might not be the perfect word to describe it. He seems to improve for a length of time, then gets set back. This time it was for about 2 years.

Thank you again for all the responses!!!:dimples:
 

David Baxter

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As far as showing insight, he has, though part of me wonders if they are part of the manipulation or an honest cry for help.

That's a good point. It's part of the problem with APD, especially those who are true psychopaths. The weight of evidence is that in therapy they don't "get cured"; they just learn what it is people want to see and hear and become better manipulators.

I know he also has issues with emotions, as far as showing them or as he says, actually feeling them....I know that sounds weird...but the best way he describes it..he knows he loves me....he just doesn't feel it...

See, I find that contradictory. How can you love someone if you don't feel love?

He has always claimed that he is who he is and because its part of him, he sees no reason to change himself. He can for periods of time, be "good" though that might not be the perfect word to describe it. He seems to improve for a length of time, then gets set back. This time it was for about 2 years.

And therein lies the basic problem - he sees no reason to change. He can hide or disguise things for a while while he is "being good", which means showing you the man you want him to be, but because he's faking it for you he will inevitably relapse back into who he really is.

I don't mean to dash all your hopes - sometimes people do have moments of insight which trigger a genuine change of direction and with APD sometimes aging (i.e., in their 40s) helps with some of the behaviors - but I think you know that there really isn't very much...
 

Aggress

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Oct 24, 2007
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hmm... i think that your husband really loves u, but he's too obsessed with his own weaknesses, the depression, etc, etc so at the same time he feels inferior and he's scared sh.tless of losing you.The guilt he feels for his past behaviour, his present defects and the sheer panic and terror of losing you is what makes that empty kinda feeling that makes him say he doesn't feel emotions. Also notice that his mindgames are not against you, their only purpose is to keep you. (If he plays them against you it's only so you notice he's a "winner" and strong, when in fact he's scared and weak) However, I'm convinced that your husband loves you very much :):):)
 

CKYMargera00

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Joined
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Messages
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That's a good point. It's part of the problem with APD, especially those who are true psychopaths. The weight of evidence is that in therapy they don't "get cured"; they just learn what it is people want to see and hear and become better manipulators.
Thats how it works wit him....he once told me that he could be what every I wanted him to be, all I really needed to do was ask. I guess looking back at that comment, the fact that I was so young and didn't understand what he meant, I took it as sweet and charming...that he would be the rock when I need someone strong, he would be that friend when I needed a shoulder to cry on...but I guess he meant it a whole different way....
I guess I don't know what makes a person with APD a true psychopath. Could you help me understand that??

See, I find that contradictory. How can you love someone if you don't feel love?
I don't know. I asked him that once and he just looked at me blankly. I sometimes wonder if he has the emotions and feelings that everyone else has. He has no clue why people get upset at times and don't get up set other times. He tried to explain it to me once...saying that he used to feel anger and other feelings...not really strong feelings but they were there..sometimes love...but most of the time nothings there...

And therein lies the basic problem - he sees no reason to change. He can hide or disguise things for a while while he is "being good", which means showing you the man you want him to be, but because he's faking it for you he will inevitably relapse back into who he really is.

I don't mean to dash all your hopes - sometimes people do have moments of insight which trigger a genuine change of direction and with APD sometimes aging (i.e., in their 40s) helps with some of the behaviors - but I think you know that there really isn't very much...
I don't think he wants to change either...at the same time I don't know if he honestly knows who he is 1/2 the time.
I've heard that most people with APD don't seek help unless forced by the courts...and I've also heard that there isn't much hope of "out growing" it so to speak. That it usually takes, like you said, well into their mid-40's if they even do change.

I guess I do hold on deeply to that hope that some where deep down inside, he does have some chance of being a husband, or at least the husband that Ihope he is.

Its frustrating because he's so educated on his APD.....
 

David Baxter

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I guess I don't know what makes a person with APD a true psychopath.

APD is a very broad category and, in truth, almost everyone convicted of a criminal offense meets the criteria. But the "true" [WIKI]psychopath[/WIKI] is something special and not all of them are ever convicted of a criminal offense. Most criminals are not so-called primary psychopaths but may fit the description of what used to be called a secondary psychopath.

The best description of the true or primary psychopath is from [url="http://en.The Mask of Sanity, which is still a book well worth reading. The following is from a slide I used to use when I taught forensic psychology:

Cleckley’s 16 Characteristics of the Psychopath
Key Features
  • manipulative
  • superficial charm
  • above-average intelligence
  • absence of psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, etc.)
  • absence of anxiety
  • lack of remorse
  • failure to learn from experience
  • egocentric
  • lacking emotional depth (“emotional flatness”)
Other Characteristics
  • trivial sex life (many casual partners)
  • unreliable - irresponsible
  • failure to follow a life plan
  • untruthful
  • impulsive
  • antisocial behavior
  • if any suicide attempts, rarely genuine

Notes:
  1. Psychopaths have all the outward appearances of normality (hence ”Mask of Sanity”) – absence of psychotic symptoms, absence of debilitating anxiety or guilt
  2. Psychopaths appear to be unresponsive to social control – continue to get into trouble despite repeated punishment from people around them and society at large
  3. Criminal behavior is NOT an essential characteristic of psychopathy! Not all criminals are psychopaths, and not all psychopaths are criminals.
">/Hervey_Cleckley]Herve Cleckley[/url], author of The Mask of Sanity, which is still a book well worth reading. The following is from a slide I used to use when I taught forensic psychology:

Cleckley’s 16 Characteristics of the Psychopath
Key Features
  • manipulative
  • superficial charm
  • above-average intelligence
  • absence of psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, etc.)
  • absence of anxiety
  • lack of remorse
  • failure to learn from experience
  • egocentric
  • lacking emotional depth (“emotional flatness”)
Other Characteristics
  • trivial sex life (many casual partners)
  • unreliable - irresponsible
  • failure to follow a life plan
  • untruthful
  • impulsive
  • antisocial behavior
  • if any suicide attempts, rarely genuine

Notes:
  1. Psychopaths have all the outward appearances of normality (hence ”Mask of Sanity”) – absence of psychotic symptoms, absence of debilitating anxiety or guilt
  2. Psychopaths appear to be unresponsive to social control – continue to get into trouble despite repeated punishment from people around them and society at large
  3. Criminal behavior is NOT an essential characteristic of psychopathy! Not all criminals are psychopaths, and not all psychopaths are criminals.
">pedia.org/manipulative
  • superficial charm
  • above-average intelligence
  • absence of psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, etc.)
  • absence of anxiety
  • lack of remorse
  • failure to learn from experience
  • egocentric
  • lacking emotional depth (“emotional flatness”)
  • Other Characteristics
    • trivial sex life (many casual partners)
    • unreliable - irresponsible
    • failure to follow a life plan
    • untruthful
    • impulsive
    • antisocial behavior
    • if any suicide attempts, rarely genuine

    Notes:
    1. Psychopaths have all the outward appearances of normality (hence ”Mask of Sanity”) – absence of psychotic symptoms, absence of debilitating anxiety or guilt
    2. Psychopaths appear to be unresponsive to social control – continue to get into trouble despite repeated punishment from people around them and society at large
    3. Criminal behavior is NOT an essential characteristic of psychopathy! Not all criminals are psychopaths, and not all psychopaths are criminals.
    ">/Hervey_Cleckley]Herve Cleckley[/url], author of The Mask of Sanity, which is still a book well worth reading. The following is from a slide I used to use when I taught forensic psychology:

    Cleckley’s 16 Characteristics of the Psychopath
    Key Features
    • manipulative
    • superficial charm
    • above-average intelligence
    • absence of psychotic symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, etc.)
    • absence of anxiety
    • lack of remorse
    • failure to learn from experience
    • egocentric
    • lacking emotional depth (“emotional flatness”)
    Other Characteristics
    • trivial sex life (many casual partners)
    • unreliable - irresponsible
    • failure to follow a life plan
    • untruthful
    • impulsive
    • antisocial behavior
    • if any suicide attempts, rarely genuine

    Notes:
    1. Psychopaths have all the outward appearances of normality (hence ”Mask of Sanity”) – absence of psychotic symptoms, absence of debilitating anxiety or guilt
    2. Psychopaths appear to be unresponsive to social control – continue to get into trouble despite repeated punishment from people around them and society at large
    3. Criminal behavior is NOT an essential characteristic of psychopathy! Not all criminals are psychopaths, and not all psychopaths are criminals.
     

    David Baxter

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    From the Wikipedia article:

    Cleckley defined psychopathy thus:

    1. Superficial charm and good "intelligence".
    2. Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking.
    3. Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations.
    4. Unreliability.
    5. Untruthfulness and insincerity.
    6. Lack of remorse or shame.
    7. Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction.
    8. Poor judgment and failure to learn from experience.
    9. Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love.
    10. General poverty in major affective reactions.
    11. Specific loss of insight.
    12. Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations.
    13. Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without.
    14. Suicide threats rarely carried out.
    15. Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated.
    16. Failure to follow any life plan.
     

    CKYMargera00

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    Messages
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    1
    .....I honestly don't know how to respond......out of the 16 different characteristics listed, 13 can be used to describe my husband.....not just occasional, but characteristics that his mother has talked about since he was young....especially the manipulative, superficial charm,above-average intelligence, the lack of remorse, lacking the emotional depth....impulsive...lying....wow....

    I honestly thought that psychopaths were murderers....I didn't realize that they don't have to have an extensive background with arrests....

    Can this be treated or properly diagnosed??

    I think his doctor was getting at this for a diagnosis when he was hospitalized but my husband didn't stay long and since then his doctor has passed away....
     
    Last edited:

    David Baxter

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    No, not all psychopaths are murders - the ones you hear about or the ones in movies and on TV do tend to be but they are not all quite that violent. It's more that if they want something and you stand in the way of their getting it, they will take you out of the way one way or another - to them, it's just removing the obstacle, an entirely logical move - but if murder is the only way they can see to doing that, then murder it will be.

    Some psychopaths are CEOs of large corporations and most of those are clever enough that they manage not to get caught at anything criminal.

    Psychopathy can certainly be diagnosed, although it isn't an official DSM diagnosis at present. The available evidence is that treatment (psychotherapy or medication) does not work with psychopaths. As I said earlier, it just seems to teach them how to be better or more effective psychopaths.
     

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