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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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Dr.: just wanted to ask another question regarding my

Customer Question

Dr. Michael:
just wanted to ask another question regarding my situation with my husband. you mentioned in your answer that he probably has a personality disorder traits that make it difficult for him to give up his pursuit of high level, self gratification...i failed to mention that he also was diagnosed with ADHD several years ago...what personality disorder traits could he possibly have that I may research and look into. i noticed on your profile that you have extensive experience with a lot of his do i cope with his issues?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

Good to hear from you again. ADHD co-occurs with a number of personality disorder characteristics. Here are two personality disorders I think you'd benefit from reading about. What would be helpful to me is if you could read both of these links and, being aware that most people with personality disorder problems don't meet all of the criteria for any one disorder (but actually, have a mixture of some symptoms from several), tell me about the features that stand out in your mind. Next, we can talk about how to cope with the most significant of these issues, in the context of your particular problems; so plan on posing a few specific questions. I am tied up in a few meetings for the next few hours so I'll get back to you this evening or tomorrow, depending on when you write back, O.K>?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you i will look at those sites now.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Dr. Michael:
I read the sites and took a few notes from each. He does have just a couple Narcissistic traits but I really don't think he's a "full blown" example of one. He does like to be the center of attention and receive admiration from others; he's impulsive (sexually from his prostitute activities) and he's also passive-aggressive.
under the anti-social behaviors these are what i recognize...repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest-"involved with prostitutes"-deceitfulness-repeated lying-hidden bank account, cell phone, where-abouts etc.; seems to also lack some remorse-or indifferent and rationalizing his behavior/hurting me (NEVER physically harmful).
He is the youngest of 4 children (age 52); his dad started a printing business in 1963 (he passed away in 1986) and the 4 siblings and his 85 year old mom still run the successful business. they have 120 employees and do commercial printing for lg. clients like Wendy's, Limited, etc. He brings in the most sales. oldest brother quit in 1993 and has not talked to anyone since...husband hates both his siblings and there is limited communication between any of them. (bus. is 18 million per year.) husband seems to seek "inappropriate behavior" when very stressed at work...or financial decisions need to be made. he has admitted to working best in "chaos". over the past 5 years he started going to bars at 10pm 1 time a week with a neighbor friend, which increased to 2, then 4 nights a week during the work week and then again on at least one weekend nite. he currently is going to counseling with me but only to help me "get that he wants a divorce". he is not willing to work on the marriage and wants out. when i asked him today why he didn't have his wedding ring on he got very angry and said he was tired of me looking over his shoulder and that he is "this close" to filing for divorce and not remaining "friends". since he has not been connected with me in our marriage for the past 8 years, he has had a chance to prepare himself for leaving. but for me, i just found out about the prostitute affair, lying about money etc on August 1,2010. so my emotions are still roller coaster/day to day.i have a book titled"when your lover is a lier"-talks about a "possible partial sociopath b/c other aspects of his life appear relatively stable...but cheating catches him up in the thrill of doing something forbidden." Risk of being caught in acts and lies provides the danger and chaos he craves, but knows he won't get arrested." about 5 years into our marriage when we started having kids he was very involved in his church and God was very important to him. can't remember when that changed. he says to me that i'm boring and that we don't have anything in common anymore. he likes to say the F--- word and I'm offended by that and he can't "be himself" with me. God only knows why i.m feeling like i want to save our family/marriage....he says"people get divorced everyday...what's the big deal?"
do you think he fits any of the sociopath behaviors? how do i deal with this? is there ever any hope in him changing his behavior if "HE CHOOSES TO" and from your experience, does that happen? do i just "let him go" and hope that he "finds himself" and grows up, knowing that his family is here for him? like i said in my past chats, i am working on ME and trying to become the best person I can be. He currently is living in a studio apt. until end of Jan...not sure what will happen after that. i want to give it one year...i feel 32 years of marriage deserves at least that before we officially file for divorce. any additional direction you can give me will be great. thks. Jenny
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
forgot to mention....his oldest brother and wife do not talk to any family members and moved out of state..they don't even have a relationship with their own son; brother #2 is on marriage 3 and had several affairs prior to current marriage; sister had an affair and is on marriage 2; ex-brother in law- marriage 3 and my husband is hanging out with divorced and single friends who frequent the bars! his parents ran the business pretty much 24/7 and did not communicate well with each other. my husband was 9 years old when his dad bought the business...and says he remembers only one vacation as a family when he was little. he seems resentful about this.
husband really does not have a "close communicative " relationship with our 3 kids (son age 27; daughters 24 and 19) they get along fine, but don't really have that "father/child guidance aspect in their relationships. my youngest didn't talk to him for 2 months after we told her we were separating.
his sister and her ex plus their new spouses get along and do holidays and trips together. i think my husband sees us as being able to proceed in our life the same way. he has said that we "know a lot of divorced friends who can get along with their ex's-no problem. what's the big deal? i just don't want to see you everyday; and talk every 5 minutes...i just want to move on with our lives". he doesn't get the fact that this is NEW for me! YIKES! it's exhausting! again, any direction you can offer will be appreciated! Jenny
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
It sounds as though the two of you have completely different values about the nature and purpose of marriage and intimate relationships. It doesn't appear that anyone in his family has ever experienced a healthy, intimate relationship and he has never had one modeled by anyone in his life (for him to embrace the same pattern). As much as you want to try to save this relationship, based on what you've reported, he will probably emotionally "divorce" you in the future, if he hasn't done so already. He has not investment in improving the relationship and is trying to minimize the cost of a real divorce (i.e., he realizes you would probably win significant money in the divorce because of his portion-ownership in the family business. He would probably have to make payments to you until your 1/2 of his portion of his 'ownership' in the business is paid off; but this depends on the state you are in. What i'm getting at here is it is extremely likely that he won't physically divorce you because of the EXPENSE of it, but will do so emotionally. He will expect you to simply co-exist with him without splitting up property or physical assets. So, he really has nothing to lose in doing what he is doing right now, in his eyes.

You can continue to work on yourself and become the best person you can be, realizing that you can't change him or make him want the kind of attached and intimate marriage you had hoped to have at this point in your life. I suspect the odds of him changing are very slim---he isn't motivated to and simply doesn't hold the same, core values you do about commitment in a marriage and doesn't know how an intimate relationship even works. Fundamentally, he is a very unhappy man and doesn't really know why. You need to gradually plan on the possibility he might seek a divorce, or you may feel you have to in order to maintain your own sense of self worth and integrity-----because you are living in a emotionally abusive situations. I can't recall if I mentioned it before but you need to be quietly preparing to take care of yourself financially and develop interests outside of this marriage. What I've explained above may be the likely basis of his behavior and what you can expect going forward is more of the same. You need social and emotional support from somewhere now and in the future, because your husband will not provide it for you. It is unfair for you to have to deal with all of this by yourself. Who can you reach out to, if anyone?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
does he fit the role of any of the narcissistic or sociopath diagnosis? or at this point does it even matter to me to help him?
thanks for your response...i do have a wonderful group of Christian friends that have been very supportive and will continue seeking comfort from them...and get on with my life as best as possible. i will take your advise and start putting money away and start getting involved in more volunteer activities-possible pt employment.
i feel sorry for him. that he is giving up his family for whatever he thinks is better out there. thanks again. i will keep you in my files for future advise! jenny
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
Your husband has a mixture of some symptoms of both of these disorders, from all appearances, primarily narcissistic due to his extreme selfishness, self focus, inability to empathize, difficulty seeing how his behavior impacts others, sense of entitlement. Unfortunately, unless he magically 'wakes up' or suffers a really serious emotional crisis, he may never look outside of his own view of the world to see that he creates his own interpersonal problems. He may die a very lonely and unhappy man. You really should look into upgrading your vocational skills either through a vocational program or pursuing a degree program. I shuttled a guy off to start his first bachelor's degree program just a couple of months ago at age 57, so it is never to late to make a fresh start. Unfortunately, your husband's perspective on happiness is to gratify whatever emotional urges and pleasure-seeking motives he experiences in the moment and is missing out more and more, as you personally enhance your attractive personal characteristics and possibly, your job skills. I'm glad you have a very strong circle of friends. I would like to hear from you again as this tale unfolds. I don't think your husband deserves you.

Let me know if I have overlooked any thing you hoped I would address.
Dr. Michael and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
just a little background on me...i do have an associates degree in, of all things, mental health counseling!! and i have had my own Safety Consulting business for the printing industry (self taught) where i wrote a manual for the industry that sold nationally. i spoke nationally at printing conventions around the country... and i was a consultant that taught safety training and fork lift operator training to employees throughout the state of husbands company was a client of mine! i generated about 28,000 a year on my own!! i had this business for 7 years...probably one of the reason he felt neglected and possibly threatened!
i had to stop this business to take care of my family/parents...but i do have strong communication/writing skills and plan to utilize them somehow! thanks for the encouragement...i agree...he doesn't deserve me! i'll be in touch jenny
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 6 years ago.
Jenny, thanks for this follow up. What you say makes sense about being threatened by your competence and his feelings of neglect regarding your business success..