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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:10 pm 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:45 pm
Posts: 45
Hi All,

I know there are no easy answers, but I am wondering if most sex addicts also have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and/or Narcissistic personality disorder since their behaviors tend to align with those disorders. If so, it seems that recovery is unlikely. I think one of the most scary things about having been involved with a sex addict is the realization that I may have missed a major personality disorder during our courtship. I also worry about my children and if they will have a genetic tendency towards personality disorders. There is a history of suicide in my partner's family. So here is the question: Did reading any of the literature about those other personality disorders help you in dealing with the SA in your life?

Last edited by liveauthentic on Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:00 am 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:34 pm
Posts: 667
liveauthentic - I read a ton of stuff about personality disorders early on in my healing. I know Jon advises us that every minute we spend on reading about this stuff is anothe minute gone from our life. At first, my reading about all of this was nearly compulsive since I was so filled with anxiety. I now realize it was about my getting some sense of control over my life and to get some emotional equilibrium. But, it was also helpful to me to gain a better understanding. So, I guess that is a long winded way to say it helped a bit, but was also not helpful. I wish I could say " read this" and be done with it. But, I can say here is what I learned.

Often times addicts have multiple addictions. They also often have underlying mental health issues (personality disorders, depression, anxiety). Well, we know they are anxious. No surprise since addicts have unresolved trauma. Personality disorders need to be diagnosed by a competent, experienced clinician. Addicts are SO selfish that they all look like they have NPD. I was CONVINCED my husband was a narcissist. Now I am convinced he is not, but he was deeply selfish and entitled, and his objectification really looks like narcissism. They are narcissistic in their addiction and immaturity. If they get sincere about recovery and health, they should get an awareness of this and we should see changes in their behavior, attitudes and thinking. I think NPD is on a continuum, and that full blown ones exist, but aren't a huge part of the population.

My individual therapist has told me that people suffering from trauma, especially childhood trauma, can exhibit BPD symptoms. So, it is hard to tell if they are bi-polar, or "just" traumatized. Here as well sincere recovery and health should alleviate these symptoms. The immaturity of our partners and their inability to understand and respond to their emotions makes them look out of control. Well, they were out of control and lived so chaotically and reactively.

So I learned it's possible they have undiagnosed personality or mental health issues (AHDD being a big one....). I learned I can't diagnose on my own. I learned that lots of these "symptoms" will be reduced, or change, or be addressed IF they start to recover, and IF they start to become self aware, and IF they start to get honest with themselves.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:24 am 
Partner's Mentor

Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:38 pm
Posts: 515
Hi liveauthentic,

The conclusion I reached for myself is even if the underlying problem is undiagnosable (addiction vs personality disorder) it is the symptoms, and the effect of those symptoms on my life, that must be my focus (if and when I am focusing on my partner).

Simply put, for me a lie is a lie. Hiding is hiding. Entitlement is entitlement. Manipulation is manipulation. "WHY" is no longer a factor for me. Whether my husband is a narccisist or an addict doesnt impact how I choose to create boundaries around those damaging behaviors.

I used to wonder a lot about this because if my husband is "just" an addict, there is hope, but if he has a PD, hope is greatly diminished. I really thought I needed that data to make decisions. When I decided I could make boundaries and decisions regardless of where he fits on a spectrum, it was a big, empowering shift.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:51 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:40 am
Posts: 67
I was convinced when D day first happened that my husband either had NPD or was possibly a sociopath. He was so selfish, manipulative and everything got turned around to him, like he was the injured party in all of this. Empathy? I'm convinced he had no idea what it meant. Our marriage counselor, who had started seeing my husband solo a few times, said she could assure me that my husband doesn't have NP disorder, but that every one of us has a bit of narcissism. She said if I think of it as a sliding scale, my husband fit at the high end of the scale (yay) , but that it's workable if he was willing to work. Him doing the workshop here and going to counseling for the last 9 months has really improved things to the point where I would no longer think to put him in the NPD category. Selfish and immature, yes, but he is making improvements. He actually shows genuine concern with how this has all affected me and is supporting and encouraging my recovery.
He has been diagnosed with ADD, which was a surprise to me, but now makes sense in the context of his other addiction to marijuana which has been going on for most of our relationship. He has been trying to self medicate that and childhood abandonment issues. I guess all the details aren't important for this discussion, I only use them to demonstrate that there are a lot of layers to what contributes to addiction and many symptoms overlap. Although I love Dr. Google, I think it's best to leave diagnosis to the professionals.

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