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Married To A Psychopath

Question:

I am married to man who I suspect has a personality disorder. I want to support our marriage and help him if I can but I am tired of feeling taken advantage of. What is the best way to approach this?

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

I have no way of knowing whether or not he is a psychopath or has a personailty disorder. In addition, I have no way of knowing how he takes advantage of you. However, it is important for you to know that, in marriage, partners must be equal and able to trust one another. If that does not exist then the marriage cannot survive. For example, if he takes advantage of you by stealing your money then there is a very serious problem. In addition, if he cheats on you or has a secret life, then it is unlikely that the marriage can succeed.

On the other hand, if your husband takes advantage of you by not doing his share of the housework, taking the garbage out, doing the dishes, vacuuming the floor and more of these types of things then the two of you must sit down and work things out. In fact, even in the cases above, the two of you must talk to one another.

A good possibility for the two of you is to go to marriage therapy so that differences can be worked out and important issues be brought into the open. By the way, it is rarely one person who is at fault for all the marital issues in a marriage. In therapy you would have a chance to look at your own behaviors and see how you might be contributing to problems. It’s usually and 50/50 percent thing when there are marriage problems.

In the end, if nothing else works then it is time to think about separation and divorce.

Best of Luck

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