How To Know If An Undiagnosed Personality Disorder Is Ruining Your Relationship
It may be something more serious than you thought.
Relationships are tricky business. People are always trying to figure out “the secret” to make their relationship perfect or last forever. With two personalities trying to mesh together, it can be hard to make comprises and find a happy medium.
While you may be experiencing fighting, arguments, lack of trust or the other windfall of problems that sometimes come with having a significant other, as evident by endless relaitonship advice on the internet, there could be more to it than you think.
Sure, these types of issues come up in all relationships, but there could be something deeper happening than just having different opinions on which Netflix show is best. Your personalities are different, but there could actually be an underlying personality disorder going on that could be making things worse.
Personality disorders are real, and you may not even know you have one. The turmoil that you may be feeling over ruined relationships or seemingly crumbling ones could be relieved by better understanding what is going on inside your mind.
Is an unknown personality disorder ruining your relationship? Here are the different types of personality disorders and how they could be damaging your relationship.
1. Paranoid Personality Disorder
In general, a paranoid personality disorder causes people to constantly believe that others are trying to harm or threaten them. People who suffer from this kind of disorder typically find it difficult to trust and confide in people (even their friends), and think people are trying to take advantage, trick or swindle them. They also may think there is danger or threats in everyday interactions with their friends and family.
If you’re suffering from paranoid personality disorder, you may be finding it difficult to trust your partner even when there is no reason not to. From their perspective, it may seem like you are overly controlling or that you pick fights when there aren’t any. Perhaps you often accuse them of cheating or constantly ask them about where they’ve been when you aren’t together.
Take a second to step back and really look at whether or not your partner has actually done something to lose your trust or if it just seems to be stemming from your own thoughts.
2. Schizoid Personality Disorder
Those with a schizoid personality disorder tend to avoid interactions with others and often lack the ability to show or feel much emotion. They seem like loners and are often dismissive of how other people feel.
If you have this, typically, you prefer to be alone and don’t seem to get many pleasures from life, you can come off emotionally cold to those that are close to you, and you don’t seem to be interested in any other kind of intimacy. You may even think that relationships interfere with your freedom and your happiness.
While it’s surprising that you are in a relationship in the first place, it happens. You may find that your partner is dissatisfied with the love and attention you are giving to them. From their perspective, you may not be as invested in them as you need to be, if they can even get you to spend time with them at all.
In this case, try to consider your partner’s emotional needs more closely and make some sacrifices to meet them if you want to stay together.
3. Antisocial Personality Disorder
People with this disorder show a lack of understanding for right and wrong and have a lack of empathy for the feelings of others.
If you have this, you might have a tendency to put yourself in risky or dangerous situations, get involved with illegal activity, act impulsively or feel overly bored much of the time. You might even do things to get what you want even though it hurts others, and you have no sense of guilt.
If you recognize some of these characteristics in yourself, there is a good chance that you are not considering the feelings or emotions of your partner as much as you need to (to maintain your relationship). You may only be thinking about yourself instead of considering what they want out of the relationship.
4. Borderline Personality Disorder
People who suffer from borderline personality disorder experience a constant instability in their moods, self-image and behavior. This results in unstable relationships and impulsive actions. If you suffer from this, you may have particularly intense emotions that change frequently, you may feel like you don’t really know who you are and you have a hard time sustaining stable relationships.
You may even have experimented with self-harming behavior due to your feelings of loneliness, paranoia or anger. If you suffer from this personality disorder, you may come off as clingy or overly-dramatic to your partner. You may find yourself taking your anger or stress out on your partner and causing them to feel an emotional drain due to your drastically different moods.
5. Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Those with a narcissistic personality disorder are often viewed as being pretentious and conceited. They often seem to take over conversations, look down on others and become angry and impatient easily.
If you have this, you might think that you’re better than everyone else, feel angry or sad if you’re being ignored or you blatantly put your own needs before everyone else.
If you are suffering from this disorder, you may be forgetting to think about your partner. You may be turning the entire relationship around to be only about you and to meet your own needs instead of thinking about what would be good for your partner.
6. Dependent Personality Disorder
People with a dependent personality disorder tend to cling to others and are unable to make decisions without the guidance or reassurance of others. If you’re dealing with this disorder, you may feel needy or have really low self-esteem. You might also see others as better than yourself, act passive or submissive and even agree with other people’s decisions when you really don’t inside.
In this case, you may find that your partner feels smothered by you. You could be giving them too much attention which is causing them to pull away and become distant. They may be feeling like they have to take too much control over your life, making you seem like more of a burden than a partner.
Take a good look at your personality and the things you’re feeling. Could your relationship be suffering from one of these personality disorders?
If you feel like your relationships are being ruined by your personality disorder, or if you haven’t yet been diagnosed and think your emotions may be to the extreme in one way or another, it’s important that you speak with a professional so you can get the help and advice you need to better your relationships and feel more stable.
Personality disorders are nothing to be ashamed of. They are far more common than many of us may realize, but it’s important to get the help while you’re ahead so you can be happier and healthier.
Shannon Ullman is a Senior Editor for YourTango whose writing focuses on lifestyle advice for women.