I recently responded to a post on Common Reasons Why Men Cheat and explained that there are some men who cheat because they have a personality disorder. I was asked to give advice on how women can protect themselves from a personality disordered man. Here is my simple answer:
LEARN THEN LEAVE
Find out about personality disorders then open the door, walk out and never go back.
If only it were that easy. It isn’t so here is my advice from personal experience and communicating with hundreds of other women who have been through the same thing.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM A PERSONALITY DISORDERED MAN
Step 1: The light-bulb moment
Something doesn’t feel right, you are beginning to question your relationship, you have some doubts, things don’t add up and you are uneasy.
The process has begun.
- Talk to your friends and family and see if they can see what you can’t or have any insights to offer – often they have sensed before you that you aren’t being treated well but are not comfortable telling you
- Learn about what constitutes a healthy relationship and compare it to your relationship
- Think deeply about what feels wrong with your relationship and let google be your guide – look it up and follow where it leads you.
- Read the Top 100 Traits of Personality Disordered Individuals
- Some other searches to try:
The light-bulb moment may come when you recognise your partner described on one or many of the pages you find.
Step 2: Knowledge is armour
- Read, google, learn, join support groups, find Facebook pages, troll through the blogs on WordPress.
- Arm yourself with knowledge, ideas and techniques to deal with your particular situation.
- Take your time, make sure your thinking is correct, talk to others in similar situations. Doesn’t matter what mental disorder you think your partner has, or what type of personality disorder – a diagnosis and a name don’t necessarily matter. Focus on the behaviours and how to deal with them.
Step 3: Decide what to do
- Keep learning
- If you decide to stay – read up about how to deal with personality disorders within relationships and know that it will be difficult. Not impossible but a long haul. Marriage counselling with a personality disordered man does not work. See my post https://frogstale.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/marriage-counselling-with-high-conflict-personalities/. You will also need to get some counselling for yourself.
- If you decide to go – prepare yourself.
- Collect documentation
- Think about your escape route
- Think about the consequences if you have children in particular
- Learn about no or low contact
- Keep learning
- Get a support group around you – family and friends and other people who know what you are going through
Step 4: Pay it forward
Once you have gone through the trauma of a relationship break up – and that can take years if the relationship was long – and you are ready, it is the time to pay it forward. Teach the next generation of women to look out for people with personality disorders so they can avoid getting into the relationship in the first place. Educate the world one person at a time and support anyone you find who is going through what you went through. That we we can all learn, grow and support others from our experiences.
- Marriage counselling with high conflict personalities (frogstale.wordpress.com)
- Let’s educate the world about personality disorders (frogstale.wordpress.com)
- Understanding Personality Disorders in Relationships, Page 1 (protectivemothersalliance.wordpress.com)
- Common Reasons Why Men Cheat